ISBHF Presidents Welcoming Address15th June 2016 - 15:43
In 1892 the historical hockey trophy the Stanley Cup was forged and made in Sheffield, UK. A city who had the first ever FC in the history of soccer, was building the holy grail of hockey. A sport they or no one knew at that time. Now, 124 years later with the excellence and growth of Ball Hockey UK, the sport is coming to Sheffield as 18 National teams, 450 players, many coaches, support staff and referees, and parents and fans all probably nearing 1000 will come to find the Gold in this historical city. For the 2016 ISBHF World Junior Championships.
Who would have thought Sheffield was a hockey town, but this city offers all these young athletes and its fans a wonderful backdrop. The city of sport as Sheffield is known has more trees per person than any city in Europe, it has wonderful restaurants, bars, a beautiful city and friendly citizens to meet and experience. Bringing Hockey front and centre to iceSheffield and its beautiful facility.
This will be a growth experience which will impact these young men and their families for years to come. They will come back again one day to this beautiful UK city to reminisce. This along with the many hundreds of thousands of people peering in by our web broadcasts will put Sheffield front and centre. This promises to be one of the best World Juniors ever. With teams from Canada, USA, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Switzerland and Great Britain locking horns for the right to be World Champs.
The ISBHF is very proud to be coming to the UK. This nation and its members have become a huge part of the ISBHF family with their passion for the sport. The ISBHF is committed as a family to make this a great legacy event for Ball Hockey UK and our ISBHF family of nations. But most of all we are looking for this to have a positive impact for Ball Hockey UK, signalling itself as a World leader in our sport.
We will all converge at Ice Sheffield with its wonderful facility, near the English Institute of Sport and the great staff that represent these facilities. Many activities outside of ball hockey will present the athletes at these wonderful facilities.
On behalf of the ISBHF we would also like to thank Ball Hockey UK for making a dream come true and make this World Championship occur. It is a major achievement for the association and its members and volunteers.
Robin Hood and his merry men may have traversed these streets once. But for 7 days in July 2016, the city will see the colours of our ISBHF nations walking through their streets. All in search of Ball Hockey glory.
I hope that all the participants make friendships that last a lifetime. Compete with honour and passion for their nation with skill and sportsmanship.
And all enjoy the Wonderful experience ahead in Sheffield. I look forward to seeing you there in July!!
President, George Gortsos