Hockey Tournament Extraordinaire




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At the whistles blow, orange and green jerseys shot off after the wife ball, hockey sticks low to the ground. The game lasted only nine minutes but both teams scored twice. Then orange swapped out for the black, and the tournament continued.

CDI’s sport project has been teaching floorball in four different schools over the past year and the students had a chance to test their skills against each other in an all-day long tournament. At first, in their excitement, they forgot about passing, everyone trying for the goal themselves. Fortunately, each team had a coach who reminded them of their teamwork training and the kids started working together.
The top three teams received medals and every school was given a certificate of participation.

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Floorball is a new sport in Southern Kyrgyzstan but it’s taking off very well. Students participate eagerly, and older youth have formed community teams that come together for weekly games at a public stadium. One team even made their own equipment so that they can practice during the week.  Stay tuned for the latest scores!

A Big Hit in Jalal-abad

IMG_1505This time we’re introducing a new project in a new area. Floor hockey has come to Jalal-abad. While people all over Kyrgyzstan have always played football (soccer), this sport recently imported from Switzerland is developing teamwork and leadership in schools and neighborhoods in Jalal-abad.

Floor hockey, which is played on an indoor field, uses hockey sticks and a light plastic ball. While football, especially here in Kyrgyzstan, can be dominated by a single excellent player, excellence in floor hockey can only be achieved by players working together to score.

Swiss trainers Rafael and Nathaniel teach the basics of the game and teamwork. They are also looking for local young men to develop both as trainers for the sport and in the values of teamwork and good sportsmanship. “Farhat” started working with CDI staff in this capacity. He moved from watching the games, to coaching for an hour or so, to being a referee. Farhat was required to play once a week in the men’s league in order to qualify as a trainer at the 4 schools where the project is being developed.

Farhat has exhibited growth himself. Recently while he was officiating a match, a player became angry and swore at Farhat. Rather than reacting in anger, shaming the player, Farhat took the player aside and calmed the young man down. Farhat said he was modeling behavior he learned from CDI staff.

Sadly, Farhat’s family is requiring him to leave this post and work at a better paying job. Raphael and Nathaniel are continuing to look for young men to impart these values to and to help develop the community through sport.