"BY ENDURANCE, WE CONQUER"
The title of this blog seems apt for this post as Falklands Xtreme Sports recently obtained funds from the Shackleton Scholarship Quality of Life application to bring down professional coaches Mr. Gary Slavin and Dave Weloy. It can also be related to the amazing 3rd consecutive World Championships ball hockey win by team Slovakia. This is an amazing show of endurance and strength to come out once again beating the best of the men's ball hockey teams to claim the elusive gold medal. A final that was worthy of the competition and its host nation the Czech Republic as the Slovaks having been up 3-0 and then to be losing 4-3 to Canada to win the game 6-4. Hats off to the Slovakian team, their players, coaching staff and their fans. Now can they do it again on their home turf after it was announced during the tournament that Slovakia will be hosting the 2019 World Championships, something that the Falkland Islands team are eagerly setting their eyes upon.
It was sad to say goodbye to the World Championships in Pardubice as the coverage being provided was excellent and the place looked positively buzzing. The games themselves were a joy to watch with some fantastic goals and terrific saves. Something that we were in awe of here at Falklands Xtreme Sports was the sheer size of the arena! Our Leisure Centre is literally 1 quarter, yes 1 quarter of the 60m arena.....fitness is really going to be key for our players.
As stated at the beginning of this blog post the funds that are being kindly donated by the Shackleton Scholarship Fund will assist in bringing to the Falkland Islands two professional ball hockey coaches, Gary Slavin and Dave Weloy. Their experience, skills and qualifications will be the cherry on the cake for the 2017-18 season, especially as we are due to launch our junior league this season. With their help and expertise we can provide much needed training and development to our current crop of adult players and all of junior players, some 80 junior players! And this is just children from the Infant and Junior School alone, who knows how many will sign up from the FICS. A schedule has been planned since March of this year so we are well prepared for their visit and look forward to it. With their help we can add advancements to our development at grass root levels and increase the skills with all our senior players and their coaching seminars will be ideal for all those players looking to take up a role as coach of a junior team. We thank the Shackleton Scholarship Fund, the Falkland Islands Company (FIC), Falklands Xtreme Adventures, Canadian Ball Hockey Association and the International Street and Ball Hockey Federation (ISBHF) for making this happen. Not to mention those local clubs that have offered their gym time slots to us to enable our juniors to get the time they require with the coaches.
You may also notice that we are currently raising funds for junior ball hockey equipment via the FIC green token fundraiser. Please help us generate much needed funds by dropping the little green token in the box after your shopping trip, every token counts :). Thank you to FIC for enabling us to use this brilliant scheme. Fundraising is being revved up after the good news of our allocation of funds from the Shackleton Scholarship fund so keep a look out for events for the young and old and come along to support as we look to obtain the funds to send our juniors away to the Junior World Championships in 2018, Czech Republic (city TBC). Adding to this you would have by now seen our new Falkland Islands team logo that will be proudly added to all national team shirts during overseas duties. The Red Backed Hawk our native bird of prey was, we feel, the perfect animal to represent the Falkland Islands and the sport of ball hockey. So out with the norm, the penguin, that is usually placed on Falklands team shirts, and in with the hawk. We like change, a little change is always good.
Much like Sir Ernest Shackleton, albeit without the dangers of the Antarctic climate, Falklands Xtreme Sports faces similar challenges as they look to put the building blocks into place to regularly send junior and senior teams away to compete in ISBHF World Championships across the globe. It is going to be a long journey with many challenges and obstacles to pass along the way but to quote the great man:
"Difficulties are just things to overcome, after all"