Entry 9 of an assistant’s web-log of the IWAS Powerchair Hockey World Cup 2022 Sursee
Today is the day (actually: night) that my son and his team mates of the Belgian National Powerchair Hockey Team are returning home from the IWAS Powerchair Hockey World Cup 2022 that happened 9-14 August in Sursee, Switzerland.
Remember from yesterday’s entry (8) of my assistant’s web-log of the IWAS Powerchair Hockey World Cup 2022 Sursee that it was collectively decided to leave earlier than originally planned. It holds that the bus departed at 1 am rather than 8 am. Besides avoiding Monday traffic and its jams it also avoided having to get up early for breakfast yet another day… (grin)
If you have gone through the effort and the pain of reading the complete series of my entries (0-8) you will have noticed that it was somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster.
Nevertheless, I have profoundly enjoyed being at the event. I certainly learned a lot about my son’s sport, powerchair hockey, and have tried to explain what I’ve learned about the game throughout the preceding entries. I have had wonderfully insightful conversations with players (from our team as well as from other teams), classifiers, referees, former players, other teams’ coaches. I specifically enjoyed talking to members of the Dutch delegation, as I also enjoyed their team’s style of playing enormously. Hup, Holland, hup!!! I do believe that in their way of organizing as in their way of playing they raise the bar in a way that will be beneficial for powerchair hockey in general in the somewhat longer term. Once some people get over their jealousy…
Final score for atmosphere/event: 10/10.
When reading my entries, you will also have noticed that it did turn out a good father-son experience. I hoped it would become such an experience (albeit, honestly, not exactly for the reasons and in the way that it turned out). That was also what helped me get over the fact that the assistent that was supposed to accompany my son cancelled last-minute. I believe I have been able to guide my son through some tough lessons that life has in store for us at times. Being able to draw from events and experiences from my own pretty complicated youth and life helps in the sense of being able to share analogies and stories that are credible and make sense. What doesn’t kill us…
I know that my son has made impressive steps forward in his athlete’s stance and in his way of playing by watching many of the other teams. And I admire the work and effort that he, his team mates and the team managers put into their sport. I am sure that each of them took home valuable insights and lessons about playing at this (world cup) level. Which will help us for the European Championship in 2024.
I bow deeply and humbly for what these people achieve in their complicated lives (in often far from inclusive circumstances) and their sport!
I do wonder about the near-total lack of attention in the Belgian press and even from the overarching sports authorities. For me, these players are Team Belgium, even when the official sports leagues and organizations do not recognize them as such (yet). They are true ambassadors. This tournament confirmed what a fascinating game powerchair hockey is. You can check for yourself in the movies I added in my preceding entries or in the recordings of the full games as made available by the organization via the official YouTube channel. It is fast and dynamic. It requires quick decision making, re-positioning and speed combined with game tactics. By the way, if you think that driving and turning such a powerchair at the speed that these athletes do is easy, try getting in such a chair and play against them. Ultimately, powerchair hockey has all the characteristics that make it very, very similar to field hockey. But, hey, it took field hockey also many years to get noticed.
The travel goes well. I even get to catch up on sleep. Imagine! And, indeed, no traffic jams. As expected and hoped for. Thanks again, Hilaire.
Celebrate. This party’s over. We’re going home. And with ‘home’, we mean our beloved family who have been so supportive before and during our journey. Time to be at home and be with the people we love so deeply to share what we went through and get their point of view, which will be even more enriching. Time to wish someone her ‘happy mothers’ day’ also…
As I stare into the rising sun, I comfort myself with the thought (as I’ve done so often in life) that not fitting in is an art too. When it is happening for the right human, ethical or deontological reasons.
I hope you enjoyed reading all about our adventure for which I created following episodes:
- IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 0: Introduction
- IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 1 (Sunday 7 August): Gotta go
- IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 2 (Monday 8 August): Checking in and being checked out (part 1)
- IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 3 (Tuesday 9 August): Checking in and being checked out (part 2)
- IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 4 (Wednesday 10 August): Match day 1
- IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 5 (Thursday 11 August): Match day 2
- IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 6 (Friday 12 August): Match day 3
- IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 7 (Saturday 13 August): Play-offs
- IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 8 (Sunday 14 August): Finals
- IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 9 (Monday 15 August): After-day (what you are reading)
If you want to watch any of the games, check out the IWAS YouTube channel where all will be broadcasted: https://www.youtube.com/c/powerchairhockey/. All results have been registered at the Tournify website.