About the project
Women’s Hockey Partnership for Progress (WHPP) project is a joint effort of national ice hockey federations of Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia joined by Sport Institute of Finland and University of Ljubljana as well as ice hockey federation of North Macedonia and the International Ice Hockey federation. The project, Co-Founded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.
Generally, in the sport of ice hockey, male players are presented with more chances to reach a professional level in their career. Due to these inequalities, female players are more likely to drop out from the U14 and U16 age groups, as they cannot play with boys anymore. Hence, the main goal of our project is to close this gap between male and female players and create equal opportunities for female children who decide to start to play this game.
The WHPP project will indicate challenges and barriers for girls and women in ice hockey such as: social implications (social isolation in the hockey environment); psychological implications (low motivation and loss of interest due to lack of girls-only programs); structural implications (lack of opportunities to participate in teams, leagues, and club programs) and competitive implications (lack of events and tournaments from international to grassroot levels).
The project’s main idea advocates that “It’s not just about the on and off ice hockey training for the girls, but also improving the supporting staff (coaches, leaders, trainers, volunteers) to be better prepared to help young girls, and attract more children to the program.”
- Improving coaching and management staff by building a community of coaches who are committed to the female game from grassroots to high performance levels; focusing on recruitment and more importantly retention strategies and skills, also by sharing best practices among clubs on how to activate programs at the club level; learning on and off ice female hockey specific material with strategies to overcome psychological and social challenges for girls in ice hockey, promoting the girls game, and sharing best practices during “real-time” competitions.
- Empowering players by motivate young girls through role models and leaders; enacting the “Players are People” vision to develop future hockey players and better young women; building a female hockey player development pathway; providing real-game learning opportunities, and establishing a shared place for girls to play with girls and feel they belong in ice hockey;