SOME INTERESTING NEWS FROM AUSTRALIA AND FAR EAST By Gordon Young We have had a battle with having two inline hockey organizations for more than ten years battling for the players. This confused players, parents and potential sponsors. Last November while I was in Hong Kong...
SOME INTERESTING NEWS FROM AUSTRALIA AND FAR EAST
By Gordon Young
We have had a battle with having two inline hockey organizations for more than ten years battling for the players. This confused players, parents and potential sponsors. Last November while I was in Hong Kong our organizations signed a Memo of Understanding creating a new entity called INLINE HOCKEY AUSTRALIA (ILHA).
This new entity will remain under the control of Skate Australia and will retain peak body status with the Australian Sports Commission. This is going to allow all of our players the real opportunity to develop under one umbrella, including our men, women and junior teams.
It was also decided that our organization would support the AAU and other FIRS events now and in the future. I say this because the other organization would not support the FIRS movement in the past. In the agreement it was noted that any International Tournament or Championship would have to be supported by FIRS or by FIRS member countries for us to attend.
We will be creating a new International event in the next few years that will focus on the Asian region and the Pacific Rim areas. Currently we are involved in the Oceania Games. This is a local competition between Australia and New Zealand. In the past we have had a few other countries attend, but no one comes to the event in consecutive years. Our new committee sees the Asian/Pacific region as a must to develop the Inline game. It is too expensive with the exchange rates to travel north all the time. Looking to Asia is closer and cheaper. This will also give our teams more chance to develop their own skills.
Since the last Championship in Detroit, I have been really busy assisting with Inline hockey development in Hong Kong, Iran, Singapore and of course in Australia.
The Hong Kong Association is the host of the YMCA Hong Kong Inline Cup. This event is run over two weekends with youth divisions playing first followed by the Men, Women and this year a school age division. Countries that have attended in the past include; Australia, USA, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, UK and Iran. I am sure that there are others but off the top I can't locate my list. This event has been geared towards the club level team. They are now starting to upgrade the skill level to have the National Teams from the Asian countries play and the non Asian countries send in club based teams. This will continue for a few more years as the level in Asia is rising slowly.
I have attended this event for 4 years and always take the time to help these countries when I can. I was in Hong Kong two years ago when the HK Inline Association became a part of the HK Firs organization. This was an exciting time for that association and they are developing into a respected organization in Asia for inline Hockey. Many of the countries look up to the HK Association for guidance. We also attended the HK Inline Hockey AGM as guests.
This year as in the past four years I held referee training and coaches training for those who wanted to attend at the YMCA in Hong Kong. I spent many hours with the players, coaches and officials from Iran, both men and women. In the past we have had participants from China, Korea, Taiwan and other countries attend.
Iran has approached me about having a coach come to Iran for 6 months to teach inline hockey and coach their Men's Team that wants to come and play in Spain. I located a young coach in Australia who has very good skills who might take up the offer.
The Iranians are also looking at hosting an event in the Middle East region in the next year. This would be great to see the game expand into these areas. It should be noted that safety of all participants is a concern when travelling in certain parts of the world. The location of this event will be critical.
I am getting ready to depart in a few weeks to Singapore to host a referee course and a coaching course. The coaching and referee courses will also be adapted for use through the Singapore Sports Council. The system in Australia is very similar to that in Singapore. General Principle Courses are a component of both coaching and officiating programs. These are taught by the Sports Council, although in many cases these are integrated in to the syllabus. Singapore is working very hard at getting back to the World Championship and competing at first in the lower level.
I will hope to see participants from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea and Taiwan attend the weekend courses.
I think that if we want to continue to grow the inline game then upgrading the Junior World Cup event to be "World Championship" will give the Junior program real credibility. I think that to subsidise the expenses of 'over the ocean' referee(s) is a good move if we have the money to do so. This will also give credibility to the Championship.
We do not want to burden the organizers of the event with too much financial strain or we will not be able to attract other countries to host these events.
I am really impressed with the efforts that are being undertaken in Europe.
There will be great opportunities to expand and accredit more officials in the European area this summer. Having two opportunities will be fine.
Skate Australia Inc.
Inline Hockey Sports Development Officer
P.O. Box 721 Beenleigh, QLD 4207 AUSTRALIA