post-title The ‘State of the Union’ from ISBHF President, George Gortsos! January 1, 2018 yes no Posted by
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The ‘State of the Union’ from ISBHF President, George Gortsos!

As we turn the page to 2018, the ISBHF wishes all of the people who are involved in all capacities, all the best in our growing sport, and a healthy and happy new year.

We, the ISBHF Board of Directors, thank all of those individuals who make playing the game available to our players, coaches and referees every day in arenas, playing facilities and parking lots around the world. And most importantly, to the volunteers who perform to provide games for the children; the players of today and tomorrow. For us, we want to engage more young people, to not only encourage them, but provide every means possible to play this incredibly exciting and accessible sport. And really, we are already acting for them, to put this sport in a better place than we received it ourselves. This really is why we are laying the groundwork both as volunteers but also for the good of the game and the unseen players who will enjoy ball hockey and lead their respective nations down the road in 5, 10, 50 and even 100 years from now.

As such I think that this is the most important objective for us to strive towards as a sport. To come together for what is best for the future of ball hockey. I can tell you that we have assembled a remarkable, visionary core of ISBHF Board Members who possess a strategy in place to lead our sport to its highest capacity. We are focused, and know that we are working hard for you to reach the Olympic Elevator and have started working as a Board to collaborate with our nations to build toward what is really the pinnacle for the future of ball hockey. As mentioned, the ISBHF has established active divisions that are made up of committed & talented teams of Board Members & Volunteers working on specific areas of our game. From Nation Development, to Olympic Recognition to Technical, to Coaching, Marketing, ‘3 on 3’, and add to this a brand new website at www.isbhf.com;  to mention some of these think tanks that are working meticulously behind the scenes for our sport. Simply put, there is a unified focus for these teams to collaborate in unison and to continue pushing our great sport forward.

What does that mean for you? Well first, if any of these facets of the game interest you, please get in touch with the Heads of Divisions and get involved (you can find our list of Board Members here), as it is important in our momentum to add to this new vision of young leaders who are moving that orange ball forward. Really, just send that email. We will embrace hearing from you.

The primary motivation that we are working for the sport; the historical pedigree is being created right now and the ISBHF realizes that you, the players, coaches, referees and countless volunteers are the future of the sport, and make our events the best in the world.

The ISBHF is talking to active ball hockey leagues in New Zealand & Australia and further to this, recently facilitated a ball hockey training camp in Falkland Islands with recognition and special thanks to the CBHA coaches who made this possible. We are in discussions with nations in Africa, to additional Caribbean nations and in contact with countries in Europe. We applaud the continued growth of UK Ball Hockey as well as in Finland – where we witnessed its new federation officially established this past year and helps the ISBHF climb that much closer towards the Olympic Elevator. France announced itself at our World Championship in Pardubice as a future ball hockey powerhouse with some tremendous players and leaders and we hope to see Poland at the U16 World Cup in the Czech Republic. We are proud and appreciative that Hong Kong will host our fast-developing Asian nations in 2018 at the second Asia Championship. In short, we are anticipating another year of success stories to what we experienced of growth and development this past year in 2017!  Do more Asian nations beckon growing the game in China and India, how are we going to work to further assist Africa in launching their ball hockey programs, and will we see some traditional Euro Hockey powers come to join the party? Furthermore, we look to the highly skilled hockey nations like Sweden and Russia to join our federation and challenge the talented players of the ISBHF federations who are waiting and willing to see what these nations can bring to the table at our World Championship events.

Once again, whether it is Oceanic, Africa, Europe, North and South America; the ISBHF is prepared and are looking forward to another active year of amazing growth and success for our sport.  And rest assured, that we will be dealing with many new nations as we continue to strive steadfastly in our ultimate goal of toppling over 50 international nations in our sport.

Finally, we look forward to our ISBHF championships in 2018, and wish the many Organizing Committees – working at this moment and for the past and future months on the success of these events that will take place in Zlin and Prerov – Czech Republic; St.John’s – Canada; Bermuda and finally in Hong Kong to close out our 2018 Championships – great wisdom and great planning as they provide the platform so that we, together, will be given the opportunity to watch the most talented players, coaches and referees in the world play for gold and entertain the families, friends and fans who love our sport of ball hockey.

Have a safe and Happy Holiday to the great Ball Hockey World Community and best regards from the home of ball hockey – the ISBHF.

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