News from Women’s U19 team

Training Camp
The next girls training session will be on Sunday 18th September, at the usual venue at Cotswold School in Bourton, from 9am-5pm. The session is open to all ages and abilities, and will be £10 for the day.

We will soon be looking into the details for entering the next Under-19s World Championships. The Qualifiers would be in September 2017 and open to girls born between 1st January 1999 and 31st December 2002 inclusive. The tournament after this would be two years later, so the eligibility dates would be 1st January 2001 to 31st December 2004, and so on every two years. Everyone is eligible for two tournaments.

For those who would like to be considered for inclusion in the Great Britain squad, could you contact robertnichols910@btinternet.com with yours (or your daughter’s) date of birth please, so that we know how many players we might have for each tournament.

Training will remain open for all, but we may (depending on interest) run some extra sessions for those trying out for the next squad.

Maciej Zakrzewski, the GB Women’s U19 head coach. We asked him about his floorball career, about his vision for national team and other questions…

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UKFF: What is your floorball history?

Having over 20 years of floorball experience, I started playing floorball in the primary school at the age of 12, and progressed through the U-15 and U-18 teams to play in the Polish Extra-league. After moving to the UK, I played for Cotswold Cobras, Oxford University and most recently Hereford. Since 2013 I’ve been a member of the Men’s GB Floorballl Team.

My first experience with coaching floorball came during my time at the University, back in Poland. I helped our head coach in planning and running our team’s sessions. I kept developing my interest and knowledge of the coaching process, gaining a

degree in Sport and Coaching at Brookes University in 2013.

UKFF: What should be the strategy of your team?

Girls’ floorball is very small across the UK and this fact determines the strategy we have to apply. The girls we work with are between 8-17, which brings a lot of challenges but also plenty of opportunities. The main goal is to provide the girls with a quality sport experience, whilst promoting fun and satisfaction in order to tackle the issue of sport (let alone floorball) drop-out, so typical to this age group.

Building a team for next year’s U-19 World Cup Qualifiers is the short term strategy. In the long term, increasing awareness of floorball in the UK, keeping the girls in floorball whilst actively promoting players to the senior Women’s GB Team.

UKFF: What is your vision of your team?

At the moment the main objective is to tackle  the floorball drop-out among the girls. With very few opportunities within the UK for the girls to continue playing floorball after they finish school (no Women’s league), most of them quit playing floorball at this stage, with only a few moving to adults’ leagues.

I think that through the GB U-19 Girls Team we can change this trend. Providing the girls with quality coaching and opportunities of playing competitive floorball through international and domestic games and tournaments should keep them engaged and energised in the sport. I hope this will then lead to creating a strong bond and commitment between the players themselves and the coaching staff. This would then provide further motivation for the girls to keep playing floorball.

UKFF: Have your say

We are very lucky to have a lot of committed girls attending our sessions, and there is quite a lot of talent there too, which is great to see. Unfortunately, most of the girls will not be eligible to play in the next year’s qualifiers, due to the age restrictions. With the small number of girls in the right age range for the qualifiers, we are in danger of not being able to field a team at all. We still have some time though, so hopefully some new players will emerge.

I’d love to see a national programme run by the UKFF promoting floorball in primary schools. I believe that working at the grass-roots level is the only way forward if we are ever to establish floorball in the UK, and build competitive national teams.

The fact that most of the current GB Women’s Team received their floorball education abroad, emphasises the importance of keeping British girls in floorball and providing them with the links between youth league and senior floorball.

 

Debbie Honour, the GB Women’s U19 coach. We asked her about her floorball career, about her vision for national team and other questions…

UKFF: What is your floorball history?11078227_10155452252515468_6832980605636812995_n

I have played and coached field hockey for many years and was introduced to Floorball when Primary School Hockey team were entered into a local league over 10 years ago. I had to learn quickly. I quickly fell in love with the speed and excitement of the sport and how everyone can take part. I began to play for a couple of local teams. I played for Great Britain Ladies from 2012 to 2015 before hanging up my boots after the World Qualifiers in Nitra Slovakia. In 2010 we started up the under 19’s girls training days and have since been growing this great group of young ladies.

UKFF: What should be the strategy of your team?

The strategy of our team is development.  With our girls being aged between 8 and 17 and the majority being in their early teens we have the ability to grow the girls as a unit towards Great Britains first U19 girls World Qualifiers and beyond. Ultimately with the aim of retaining players into the adult leagues and filtering into the GB Ladies. We have always tried to work on the girls skills in a fun and positive way.

UKFF: What is your vision of your team?

Our vision is to keep these girls together and to replicate this with future groups. For the progression of Ladies Floorball in Great Britain we need to boost the amount of girls that carry on playing post Junior league, having this developmental squad gives our girls a reason to keep on playing. I hope in the future we will have enough girls nationally to support a Ladies league but as it stands we don’t, after the Youth and schools league there is nothing to keep our girls playing.

UKFF: Have your say

We have some really talented girls that really love floorball,  I believe it is really important to enable these girls to continue playing. A large majority of the girls come from the same areas of the country. I would love to see a growth campaign,  something to raise awareness of the sport and help us boost player numbers so that ultimately we keep more girls playing post 19.