Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Africa and Gambia on Floorball - they need more sticks!

Things are slightly moving forward in Africa. We have earlier heard about developments in South Africa and it was not long ago since We heard about attempts to get Floorball boards to Nigeria (and indeed it sounded as they were ahead of the American Midwest in this respect). Then from a document IFF just published Cameroon seems to be on track too...

Here is a letter we just got from Gambia via Finland, and Ari Junkkarinen / Gambia Floorball Academy Director / European contacts manager, so things seems to be going on there too..
I share here some text and unpublished pictures about our Gambia project, we have some nice plans, already three local person are involved in this project, the President is a worker at a local S O S village , and our main field is there, then there is project coordinator Ms. Pa Ann ( also in fb) and her assistant Mr. Yankuba Ceesay ( Yanks Wazza , in FB) .

I have also contacted the IFF about our project . And I am approved as the IFF messesnger to Gambia. My own floorball experience - I am local referee in southern Finland area  and I am also player in the lower divisions, mens and division. I was also working at WFC 2010 as match Secretary (also in the final match ). That is my best experience of Floorball .

My first connection to floorball came during the mid 80's, with grassroots floorball (sähly) using very flexible sticks.
I went to Gambia earlier this year and came back home a month ago, I spent two weeks in Gambia. I also met the Gambian National Olympic Committee ,  and their developing manager Mr  Dipapa, and he said yes to floorball. I brought some materials from IFF, printed, and showed how to download and use some more materials more from the IFF website, like, Start Learn Play, This is floorball, Individual Technique and Tactics, Teaching Individual Technique and Tactics in Floorball/Instruction and Drills

I plan to go next time to Gambia in September or October so now I am  trying to collect second hand Floorball material, like sticks and balls from my own clubs and from other places.

Mr. Veli Halonen from IFF said that the work I have done for this sport is important because developing countries must begin somewhere and someone must bring and introduce it first.  So if someone wants to do the same thing as I, go for it and contact IFF before the trip, they may help out as much as they can.

Now we're doing important grass roof work at Gambian schools, the main place is the S O S village Gambia  there is 3 schools and 1060 children study, it is quite a huge place. GFA hope to be be registred as the GFF (Gambia Floorball Federation) after the first competition which is a tournament between schools , but we need much more materials, as I only brought 18 sticks and 30 balls.

 Photo credit Ari Junkarinen
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Research suggest that eye-injuries are more common in Floorball as compared to Tennis, but less common as compared to Squash (similar to Racquetball).
To minimize this risk of injury Floorballcentral recommend: Use certified protective eye-wear (mandated in many European areas for the youth). Do not lay down on the court. Follow the rules strict on stick height.

Also if you get addicted to this sport - do not blame us!