Sportswave.ca

Floorball Gets New Facility

http://www.szigetirokak.hu/edzesek.php

A couple – well maybe three years ago it was played in white rock at the Centennial Curling Club and had the promise to grow, but being realistic, it wasn’t organized as well as it could have been.

Greg Beaudin “loaned” the side boards or walls to the facility and it was up to the organization to see that they were kept in proper shape, but I am hearing that this simply wasn’t the case.

So the league in White Rock folded, but the one in North Van continues to grow and now that the new facility is in place, expect this to be on the increase.

Probably the best kept secret to the sport is stickhandling wiz-kid and specialist Pavel Barber, which the facility is named after.

He has both a YouTube and Instagram account and they are highly sought after by todays youth and hockey fans.

Greg Beaudin, Son of WHA Winnipeg Jet Norm Beaudin mentions “Pavel Barber is kind of a cultural icon for youth hockey players. He’s like the Tony Hawk of floorball and ice hockey.”

Floorball is an impressive sport to watch and for today’s youth who want to excel in stickhandling for ice hockey, taking up this sport is a “no brainer.”

Greg (Beaudin) as do I see this sport as one that could easily make its way to the Olympic podium in the years to come, so don’t laugh if and when it happens.

“It’s happening, the pathway to the Olympics is moving very fast for floorball. We’re the accelerators with this floorball sport lab and facility that we have.

We’re basically accelerating the growth rate of floorball in North America so that it can be an international sport,” he says.

The end of July (July 27-30) saw six (6) countries fight for floorball supremacy in Wrocław, Poland and it’s fair to say that Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Czech Republic, the U.S., and Poland as they had nothing else to do.

They were all taking part in the World Games, which is an international multi-sport event that features sports that is not normally given a chance to compete at the Olympics Games.

You notice that one Country that was missing from the list was Canada, but if and when they  get there, it’ll be in part due to Beaudin and Barber’s commitment to grow the sport.

Floorball looks a bit like hockey, but there are some substantial difference between the two sports.

One is that floorball is played on an indoor court and not ice with goalies kneeling to defend the net and they also use an orange ball that is lightweight and shaped like a wiffle ball.

Beaudin mentions “It’s faster and it’s more creative and you can make way more plays.

Traditional floor hockey and ball hockey are mostly about shooting and give-and-goes and also that floorball emphasizes stick-handling and play-making.

Greg mentions to me that he has been pushing for the North Shore to have its own dedicated facility for floorball training, practice and play and as quick as you can say “Floorball” – now they have one!!

The Floorball Pavel Barber SportLab is located on Orwell Street in North Vancouver and is a 5,000-square-foot facility that’s currently running and ready to offer floorball programming, beginning this fall, but don’t expect a Grand Opening until this September.

Full credit to Greg that “floorball is a sport for everyone” is the fact that the facility will be offering programming for all age groups, including tots floorball and drop-in sessions for seniors.

Asked why he thinks people, especially youth, are attracted to floorball after they first try it, he argues it’s simply because of the fun factor.

Floorball is a sport that many have not even heard of, but in parts of Europe it’s as popular as NHL hockey and in some cases draws larger crowds.

Floorball is played in the lower mainland on the North Shore and is growing thanks to Greg Beaudin and Pavel Barber – it’s taking off.

We wish them the best of luck!!!