30th January 2023, Ljubljana – The partners of the Women’s Hockey Partnership for Progress who met in the Slovenian capital over the weekend for the project’s first Consortium Meeting were unanimous in their determination to use this unique EU co-funded project in the area of women’s ice hockey to its full potential in the development of this sport in the Danube region.
The meeting did not only kick-off the project in an administrative sense but also started a very substantial exchange of views and know-how in women’s ice hockey, as well as in women sports in general. Workshop on challenges and obstacles that female players, as well as coaches, team leaders, management, other team staff, game officials and even parents are being faced with are to some extent gender specific, then again in some cases related to the level of the development of ice hockey sport – in particular women’s game – in the respective country.
Furthermore, this first discussion between the representatives of the five national ice hockey federations (Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia) unveiled a great deal of similarities in the issues the either organization is facing. Thus, the participants agreed the WHPP project is a great opportunity to pool together knowledge and resources in order to bridge the gap, firstly, between the levels of women’s ice hockey in each country, and secondly, towards the men’s sport. The expert assistance of the Sports Institute of Finland in Vierumäki and the Faculty of Sports at the University of Ljubljana, as well as the support of International Ice Hockey Federation represent the added value in the process of archiving WHPP’s final objectives.
The brainstorming session for the preparation of first event, which is to be held in Maribor (SLO) in the beginning of April this year, produced many ideas for future activities, which could be implemented in the next three-year period. As one of those activities, Maribor will host an on-the-ice tournament with participation of women’s ice hockey teams from the Danube region combined with the WHPP Academy – an educational part with expert lecturers that will target different audiences (players, coaches…).
More information about the event will be available in the upcoming weeks.