The World Youth Hockey Day, 26 October 2002, gives us an ideal opportunity for the (first) meeting of National Youth Forums.
What is a National Youth Forum?
A national youth forum is a small group of 15-20 year old hockey enthusiasts from all over your country. They do not have to be fantastic hockey players, just enthusiastic and committed to hockey. They are responsible for communicating with the National Association over all youth aspects of hockey.
Why is a National Youth Forum important?
It is important to allow those within hockey a voice. If we are to strengthen hockey across all levels, then we need to make sure that we target our development programmes. One of the key target areas for hockey is the 15 - 20 age group, who tend to drop out of hockey then, for various reasons. Young people will have unparalleled access to why this is the case: what motivates them and also where the problems are with youth hockey in their region.
For the youth to get across opinions and help implement positive changes into their national
system, a forum for discussion, debating and action is needed. This communication will mean that the voice of the youth will be heard. Young people need to feel wanted and allowed to express their views and develop more opportunities between the youth of their country, both socially and through sport: promoting hockey at its best.
What will they do?
- Their function will be to suggest and help implement changes within the youth hockey of their country
- They will be a key link between the youth hockey enthusiasts and the National Association
- They will be responsible for adapting and helping to implement the World Youth Development Plan (see FIHockey.org, Development/Youth) to their country
- The National Youth Forum will provide the FIH Youth panel with regular updates on youth and their progress in their country
- If there is a national website they could contribute to this website with information on youth events and ideas for youth hockey development
- They will help implement FIH Youth Panel programs in their country
- They will help in any other way the National Association sees to be beneficial
Setting up a Forum
It is important that the National Youth Forum is set up to be a sustainable part of your National Association.
Where do we start?
You have your members and now wish to start running the Forum
How many times per year will the Forum meet?
This depends on the size of the country - how much it will cost to meet? For a country like Malta all places can be accessed in under 2 hours. Unlike the USA where you need to fly. In more developed, larger countries there may be the possiblity of accessing video conferencing or developing more regional comitttees. Overall we would expect there to be at least 2 face-to-face meetings every year - with all other communication being via the internet and email.
Where and when will the Forum meet?
This will differ from country to country - however transportation may be easier if they can meet the same time as the main council of the National Association, as many of these National Youth Forum members will not have their own transport.
How can we ensure stability?
There are 2 ways this Forum will remain stable:
- Keeping clear links with the FIH Youth Panel - always update them on what is happening, as for advice, make sure there is always a representative from the Forum at all World Youth Hockey Panel virtual meetings
- Strong bonds with National Associations - if possible the chair of the Forum should update the Executive/Management committee, or other appropriate committee, as much as possible.
Structure within Forum
Let different people take different responsibilities. You need:
- Communications - keep the FIH Youth Panel and National Associations updated, supply information on the Forum suitable for publication on the FIH Youth website and National Website
- Chairperson - sits in on FIH Youth Panel and National Association meetings and writes the agendas for the National Forum meetings. Responsible for smooth running of the Forum co-ordinating all other members, calling internet meeting etc.
- Vice-Chairperson -responsibilities delegated by chairperson
- Regional co-ordinators - keep relevant persons updated within their geographical area
- Project Manager - For every project it helps if a project manager is appointed to coordinate the project and to keep relevant persons informed of progress. The coordinator will report back at meetings to what has been done and what is yet to be done.
- Minutes - someone must take responsibility for taking minutes each meeting. They will collate them and send them to all necessary persons.
Youth Forums in each country are the best way of spreading the ideas of young people and it allows us to link the youth of individual countries with the rest of the world.
Guideline to the Chairperson
Congratulations on becoming the chair of your National Youth Forum. You take the responsibly of the smooth running of the Forum, setting dates of meetings and writing the agendas.
You should have at least 2 face-to-face meetings per year - make it at a time maybe when the National Association is meeting so lifts can be shared - remember many members of the Forum won’t have their own transport. Twice a year is not enough if the Forum is to function properly so if possible meet on the internet to keep updated on ideas and projects.
Your first meeting could be on the World Youth Hockey Day - all outcomes of this meeting should be emailed directly as soon as possible to Mario Rosado - [email protected]
We would like to know as soon as possible how well it has gone, and publish it on the youth website along with the outcomes from Forums all over the world (make sure you read these - they could give you valuable ideas!)
Agenda for your first meeting
- Introduce yourself and the rest of the Forum. Ask the members to say a bit about themselves
- Tell the members about the functions of the Forum, what its purpose is and how it was formed
- Give a bit of background knowledge about the FIH Youth Panel - giving there aim - ‘To Give the youth of the World a Voice’ and tell them our mottoes:
'Who has the Youth will have the Future'
'Don’t tell us what can’t be done, but work with us and let us show you what can'
'Invest in us and enjoy the Legacy'
'Let’s teach the youth of the world to love sport as we do'
- Talk about how the Forum will be run:
- Communications - keep the FIH Youth Panel and National Associations updated, supply information on their Forum suitable for publication on the Youth Panel website and National Website
- Chairperson - sits in on FIH Youth Panel and National Association meetings and writes the agenda’s for the National Forum meeting. Responsible for smooth running of the Panel co-ordinating all other members, calling internet meeting etc.
- Vice-Chairperson - takes over responsibility of chair if absent
- Regional co-ordinators - keeps relevant persons updated within their geographical area
- Project Manager - For every project it helps if a project manager is appointed to coordinate the project, keep relevant persons informed of progress. The co-ordinator will report back at meetings to what has been done and what is yet to be done.
Sort out who will be responsible for what and discuss people’s views on how you can run the Forum efficiently
- What do Forum members perceive as the problem within hockey in your nation?
- Discuss the World Youth Development Plan (see FIHockey.org, Development/Youth) and how you can adapt it to your nation
- Look at the programs within the youth panel - exchange, pen pals, Olympic aid etc.
- Any other business
This is a basic structure of your first meeting, you can add to it and adapt it to your needs and to what is important. It would be a good idea to communicate with the members before the meeting. Send them the World Youth Hockey Development Plan and prepare a document aboutthe background of the world panel and their programs. It is important that the members know what is expected of them before the meeting.
Overall this gives you the background information needed to set up a National Youth Forum - it is only brief and for any more information and assistance you can contact the FIH Youth Panel Chair on [email protected]
The FIH Youth Panel hopes to be hearing about your forum being set up and is sure that the feedback from your first meeting will be very positive!