This weekend a mixed team of Danish players from KFIF were invited for a tournament in Hamburg. They went there clueless of the amazing story that would soon meet them, and came back with more than friendship and player experience. They brought home the German story of footballtennis.
In the years following World War II, many disabled soldiers found themselves unable to play football and consequently organized around footballtennis. It was not so much about winning games, but rather a matter of being together, having fun and regaining motor skills. Imagine the enthusiasm and spirit that must have existed back then — it lives on and was exactly what met our Danish players that weekend in Hamburg. They encountered a tournament which knew how to include all sorts of people: men and women, youngsters and elderly, heavy-weights and feather-weights, new and experienced, with and without disability, locals and internationals. The Danish team reports having felt so welcome, like one big family:
“It was an amazing experience to join the German tournament. In the beginning we had to get used to the new rules. It was our first time, and we definitely lost some important points because of that. But in the end it didn’t matter. As a team we learned a lot, even though we missed the semi-finals. We improved our game, and we had so much fun.”, as stated by Simon.
The German rules with four players, three bounces, no blocking, a lighter ball (a volleyball) and a longer field makes it easier to join in, and allows people to play equally. Adding that padded walls and brightly colored bands in place of nets to avoid tripping hazards were used, it set the perfect conditions for the sport to be enjoyed for years and years without injury. As Camilla says:
“It was amazing to play against 60 year old men with 30 years of experience. Alsdorfs smasher just knew where to smash the ball every time. If I moved forward, he smashed on me, if I went back he made a short ball. Without my usual block it was almost impossible to defend against him. I think I will have to prepare better for next year”.
All nations should open their eyes for Germany. They do what all nations should do better — they receive everyone with open arms. For them the important thing is not winning the World Championship, but about being a footballtennis family. And that family feeling is something we endorse and value equally high here at Fodtennis Danmark.
20. september 2016