Mexico set to feature in first ever IKF Pan American Korfball Championship
As the 2014 IKF Pan American Korfball Championship approaches, the competing teams are finalising their preparations for the continent’s inaugural international tournament, in Americana/Sao Paulo, Brazil, from 31 January to 2 February.
As is usual in international korfball, in addition to technical preparation, the teams have been working hard to raise the funding needed to participate in the event. Players representing host Brazil, and fellow South American international newcomer Colombia, have developed their passion for korfball and their skills in the game through many years of guidance provided by instructors under the IKF Development and Education Committee. They now have the opportunity to test themselves in their first experience of international competition.
Mexico, however, has taken a different path. After some years of self-taught korfball, motivated by the prospect of participating in the IKF Pan American Championship, physical education teacher Alfonso Espinal contacted the IKF to request technical support, therefore maximising the opportunity for the young Mexican players to make the most of their experience at the tournament.
Alfonso Espinal teaches at the high school academy for physical education in Escuela Superior Educación Física (ESEF) Cuautla, 150 kilometres from Mexico City.
“We started regular practice here in Cuautla two months ago, and decided that going to the championship was a good way to consolidate our learning process,” he says.
As a consequence, an IKF Level I course was run in Cuautla from 24 to 26 January, with a group of 35 ESEF students led through the course by DEC director Albert Vidanya and IKF instructor Dick Kalkman, who will advise coach Espinal in an intensive week of training and through the tournament.
Alfonso Espinal expects his team’s experience in Brazil will provide a great boost for the development of Mexican korfball.
“We want to keep progressing during the korfball championship, and bring the best knowledge back to Mexico, therefore maintaining the process of growth. Our main aim is to build up the federation, for which we need six states. While we already have foundations in Estado Morelos, Estado de Guerrero, Estado de México and Distrito Federal, we are also actively looking to establish korfball in two more states, and therefore formalise the statutes for the national organisation,” he said.