The Swedish club Storvreta IBK are using Floorball as a tool to eliminate the problem of isolation within the community. The Swedish club is now focusing on different projects to include players with disabilities into their floorball activities.
Integration Project details
Photo by: Carl-Johan Hall
Storvreta IBK´s Chairman, Mr. Mats Åkerlund, sees the initiative as a new chapter in the 20 year history of the club:
- In additon to our success with the elite team, we want to strengthen our youth and this is part of the effort. We want to do what we can to break the alienation of youth and enable as many people as possible to feel the joy of floorball.
Mr. Åkerlund also hopes that this activity will spread to different parts of floorball Sweden and the whole floorball world:
- It´s not something we want to have a monopoly on, he says.
Storvreta Örnarna (Eagles)
This activity within Storvreta IBK started in autumn 2005. The team aimed at young people with disabilities, mainly to those who attend special schools. Most of the young people have some sort of disability, which may relate to cerebral palsy, autism, mental retardation, Down syndrome, ADHD, or epilepsy. By autumn 2011 a second team started in order to be able to get more children and adolescents into floorball.
Fredrik Holtz with Eagles player/Photo by: Carl-Johan Hall
Mika Kohonen Trophy (Special Olympics-class)
The Mika Kohonen Trophy is a part of the Storvreta Cup, which is played on January 3rd - 5th in 2012. This class is open to individuals with some form of mental retardation. The tournament aims at recreational sports.
- The love of sports in general and especially floorball is for me something that I want everyone to have access to, on equal terms, Kohonen says.
Kohonen has visited the trainings of the Storvreta Eagles team:
- I wish that everyone could feel the joy for the sport as these young people do.
The Mika Kohonen Trophy is an opportunity to break some of the obstacles in society:
- I have a cousin who is mentally retarded, so I know up close what it means and what obstacles society sometimes puts up for these young people. Floorball has given me so much over the years, so when I can give some small contribution back I am humble and grateful for it, Kohonen adds.
Kohonen with Eagles players/Photo by: Carl-Johan Hall
Storvreta IBK organises a floorball camp every summer, the Summer Camp for young people from all over Sweden. The camp lasts for five days with an overnight stay in the classroom and the youngsters play floorball in various halls in Uppsala. In 2010, a one day camp for disabled players was organised and now the same will be done in 2011. The goal for 2012 is to organise a longer camp also for this target group.
Floorball at special schools
Storvreta IBK will start in autumn 2011 visit the gymnastics lessons within special schools when floorball is played, in order to assist the teacher and to inspire young people to start with the sport in their spare time. Those yougsters that find floorball interesting during school time also have the opportunity to play floorball without demands for one hour two times in a week after school time in an afternoon club. The players wanting to play even more in a club are then directed to the Storvreta Eagles.
The IFF ParaFloorball function chair, Mr. Lars-Gunnar Tjärnquist, is very impressed with Storvreta´s initiative:
- We want floorball to be characterised by equality and diversity. Floorball has the potential of becoming and is for many the most enjoyable sporting experience. I am impressed by the initiatives taken by Storvreta. We will follow the implementation of the exciting project and hope to receive new ideas to be able to spread similar initiatives throughout the floorball world!
Source & More information: Storvreta IBK, www.storvretaibk.se
Jonas Pettersson, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about Special Olympics from the IFF ParaFloorbal webpage.