Together, we are stronger
Name: Thomas Briels
Hockey club: HC Oranje-Rood 1st mens team (Eindhoven, Netherlands) and former Belgian International
SportWays star since: 2016
As a child, unfortunately, I never went to a SportWays hockey camp. After the holidays, I heard the stories of the kids who had been to a camp, and I was a bit jealous. Especially with what I know now, I would have loved to have been to one of the SportWays Hockey Camps. Professionality, quality and an amount of fun combined, SportWays is definitely the best organizer of hockey camps.
A few years ago, I met Thomas Tichelman (owner) and his office team. This gave me a good feeling from the very first second. Our contact is always good and easy-going. Together, we decided to organize the Thomas Briels Hockey Camp, in the first week of July. Early July, Dutch kids don’t have summer holidays yet, but Belgian and other international kids have. Four years ago, we finally started with the first week. Together, we wrote the hockey programme and selected the staff. I also asked a few good hockey friends, such as Arthur van Doren, to join me.
The first Thomas Briels Hockey Camp really was a highlight for me. I was a bit skeptical at first. I did not really know SportWays, but my name was linked to the camp. I never joined an overnight camp before, and I wanted it to be really, really good. When the first few hours went by, I was very impressed. Everything was well organized and everybody knew what they had to do. Because of the different staff members with their own responsibilities , such as camp managers, technical directors and runners, everything ran smoothly. It was well put together. It got me so pumped up and happy that I wanted to come back every year.
Seeing everyone’s enthusiasm is one of the best things. I feel privileged that I’m able to experience it all. Everyone is very passionate about hockey and coaching. SportWays always tries to deliver the best possible quality, and I think they always succeed in this. That’s why all kids go home with that amazing feeling.
When I was talking to SportWays, we came to the conclusion that we both want to organize more camps in Belgium. I also wanted to know how all their unique programmes are developed. I wanted to understand it’s basics. Where is it all coming from, and how and with whom do they develop their programmes? I got my answers by joining the SportWays Lab in Barcelona last year. During the Lab, I got to know all SportWays’ top coaches. We shared our knowledge, talked about our personal and professional goals. It was a lot of fun and it was a step towards a future together. It was really special to have that many professionals in one room. Of course I had heard about the Lab before, but I was never able to join. The professionalism I saw was a real eye opener.
I think it is really cool that SportWays thinks out of the box. They do it totally differently than how it works within a hockey team. It is really great to teach kids special techniques that are used a lot internationally. It challenges them to really think about the game.
One of my personal goals is to share my knowledge with the next generation. Playing hockey on the highest level for the past 15 years is quite the experience. I have had many different national and international coaches. I want to share that experience with SportWays and the kids, to improve together. Because together, we are stronger.
To me, SportWays is an organization where professionalism, quality and fun are highly valued. It’s one of the best organizers in hockey camps. I always feel welcome, and every hockey camp is a huge success.
Curious about my brand new hockey programme? Or do you want to know more about my experiences and have an amazing week together? Check out my hockey camp, and sign up. See you on the pitch!