Foreign countries

EWH was basically discovered by chance. In the beginning of 70s there began the lessons of the physical education in several schools for students with physical handicap, especially for those, whose handicap was really serious. Due to their restricted abilities (particularly by reason of restriction of muscular strength), they chose the game, in which the sticks and the balls made by some lighter material were used. According to the similarity with Hockey the same appellation was picked and the word „wheelchair“was added to it. The word „electric“was added later to explain that the players use the electric wheelchairs.

The past shows that this new sport fulfils the needs of many people with serious physical disability. It seems that people with serious physical disability could finally participate in the collective sport. Contrary the sceptically attitude of the medical profession in the beginning (the physical exercise could negative affect the physical state of the patients) it shows, that the situation is more likely opposite. The possibilities of raising the self-confidence and of better integration into majority population are good benefit for those people. The discussion about these questions leads to admitting that EWH is a real sport not a tool of rehabilitation.

IM000595.JPGIt can be said it was the beginning of development of EWH when the team Münich Animals organized the first international club match. It was in the year 1987 and since that time this tournament keeps its prestige. Next year followed another international tournament in Ladenburg/Germany. As third followed the tournament in Arnhem/Netherlands in 1989. Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands participated in there.

The next important step was the World Games for people with physical disability in Assem/Netherlands in 1990. EWH got the opportunity to show itself in big international event, but it didn’t bring an anticipated breakthrough. Only contacts on club level were left and therefore several more tournaments could be organized, for example Brisbane/Australia in 1991, Horsens/Denmark in 1992, Erlangen/Germany in 1993, München/Germany in 1987-2001, Ladenburg/Germany in 1998, 1990, 1993 and 1999, Tilburg/Netherlands in 1992 and 1997, Neubrandenburg/Germany in 1993, 1994 and 1995, and Gallen/Swiss in 1994, Leiderdorp/Netherlands in 1997 and Eindhoven/Netherlands in 2000. In the year 1998 there were even played match between the national teams of the Netherlands and Germany. The first tournament in Italy took place in Milano in 1998. All of these events show the increase of international events, which is kept up to the present.

The impulse for EWH as an international sport was the first World games EWH in Utrecht/Netherlands in 1998, which got the official approval of the Dutch National Organisation of Adapteed Sports. There were ten national teams participated. Those games were a basis for an initiative to write up a draft of the international rules of EWH. Another interesting tournament was the international tournament Power Hockey in Minneapolis/USA in August 2001, where were 11 teams from 6 countries participated. The second World games EWH should have been organized by Finland or Germany. But due to coming organizational obstacles, which were also caused by international incidents, the World Games weren’t organized up to 2004.

DSC_0310In the year 2000 the Dutch Committee International EWH (DCIEWH) was founded. In the year 2001 the DCIEWH worked out the Business plan, which formed a basis for a meeting of five countries in April 2002 in Spanbrock, where the ICEWH was founded. In the years 2002 – 2005 the ICEWH established several documents, which are the basis of an international sport. There were another six meetings in five countries. The number of participating countries (once or more) increased from five to ten (Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Swiss, Spain and Australia). There were four big events under the lead of the ICEWH in the same time (two tournaments of Four countries in the Netherlands in 2002 and in Belgium in 2003), then the World Championship in Finland 2004 and the European Championship in Italy 2005. More over there took place many international club tournaments under the patronage of particular teams, for example Power Hockey Cup in Minneapolis/USA again, one of them in Zürich/Swiss and several in Germany. The ICEWH focused on so called Development Events, which means developing actions, where the main aim is to educate players, coaches and referees. That event is primarily focused on countries, where EWH isn’t known. So the ICEWH focused mainly on the support of development of EWH in more countries. At present the ICEWH cooperates with the IWAS, thus is the ICEWH provisional embodied in the system of IWAS and therefore is able to continue with better development of EWH. The ICEWH is a sports committee of the IWAS and the IWAS is a juridical person, which can provide good support for EWH. But still the long-term aim is to found the IFEWH, and so an international federation of EWH.