The success of the one-on-one meetings
At the Sports Congress back in November 2022, we announced to the nations that we intended to invite every single powerchair hockey nation to a one-on-one meeting with us, IPCH. There were multiple reasons why we wanted to have those meetings.
First of all, we wanted to be more visible and available for the nations simply because we rarely meet outside the official championships. So, by having a one-on-one meeting with every nation, we were hoping to have the chance to build a stronger connection between us and the nations.
Secondly, given the recent Covid-19 pandemic, we wanted to have a more thorough picture of the current state of powerchair hockey in each nation.
Lastly, we wanted to address the very severe need of more people from our community to engage themselves in the voluntary work related to our international movement.
By the end of April, we completed this mission. For four months, we have held one-on-one meetings with 15 different nations. To coordinate and execute that many meetings obviously took us a lot of time but when we evaluate on this initiative, we are very confident that it was all worth it.
The meetings simply fulfilled all our expectations and what we were hoping to achieve with them. It was very interesting to hear how powerchair hockey is going in each nation, and to hear how different it is organized on a national level depending on the nation.
It is our impression, that there’s a lot of good things going on around the world with some very dedicated people. But it is also clear to us, that there’s also challenges, that we should take seriously. Overall, the challenges are quite similar across the nations, and are mainly related to recruitment of new players and volunteers and to financial issues. But it is quite different how those challenges can and should be handled, depending on each nation.
We also had the chance to discuss where we as IPCH can improve and what each nation would like from us in the future. Things like continue being more in direct contact with the nations, develop a “marketplace” for buying and selling powerchairs and have an online powerchair hockey calendar where all activities and tournaments can be found, were just some of the inputs we got.
These kinds of inputs are very helpful, and we will definitely work with them in the future.
Unfortunately, the meetings haven’t yet led to any new people wanting to take part in the international work, but we hope we will see some new faces in the near future. Because we need it.
Based on all the meetings we have held and the positive feedback we’ve got, it is clear to us that these kinds of meetings are very fruitful for both us as IPCH and the nations.
Therefore, it is our intention to invite every active powerchair hockey nation to another round of one-on-one meetings in 2024.