May 13th – 17th, softball lovers from Denmark and another 12 from Croatia arrived in Joudrs Prague, Czech Republic for a softball camp and a tournament.
Softball players – boys and girls from 10 to 16 years old spent every morning practicing and working on their softball skills. Danish coaches lead by Kevin Stockford made sure that the training is the best possible and that more but also less experienced players were developing their knowledge of the sport. In the afternoons friendly games were scheduled against teams of different categories (boys, girls, U13, U16…). An afternoon of sightseeing in Prague was planned for the last afternoon before the tournament begun.
Saturday was the peak of the whole event. A tournament – Joudrs Cup International took place. Three Danish teams, Croatian Span and four Czech teams got a chance to play more serious games and show their skills.
The whole event was a great experience for all the kids and all the coaches as well. Ondrej (Andrew) Stroner – the organizer of the event is planning on continuing this tradition. His goal is to develop European international tournament for boys, which would lead to a stronger position of men’s softball in the future.
If you are interested in this type of event, make sure to contact Ondrej at email@example.com.
Make sure to continue reading for the thoughts of the coaches from all three participating countries.
Ondrej (Andrew) – Czech Republic
Held from May 13th to 17th, we had the opportunity to spend time with Danish and Croatian coaches and their players.
From my perspective, it was awesome. All the kids were great. In those four days that they spent with us, we put together 24 games.
I am very glad that everything worked well. I want to thank Lene, Tina and Kevin and all the coaches and parents from Denmark and Dinka and Maje from Croatian Span, for everything we've accomplished. Of course, thanks also go to all of Joudrs a SaBaT, whether the coaches or the people who took care of the facilities.
Lene - Denmark
44 people arriving from Denmark at Joudrs in Prague Wednesday morning excited but with no expectations at all.
We were greeted with a big smile and a great deal of hospitality. An amazing field and surroundings were the first we saw and we loved what we saw.
Our stay was absolutely wonderful. A lot of great training and games. The fields were for our use more or less all day every day so the kids were out there for almost 10 hours each day - only with a few breaks for lunch etc.
Andrew and all the people at Joudrs did an amazing job making us feel welcome making sure that we had everything that we needed. If we needed something that wasn't there they made sure we got it. They were also really helpful regarding transportation etc.
As coordinator on this trip I have only heard positive things from our kids and adults attending this trip.
Leaving Denmark I never imagine this - I was so positively surprised and thankful and humble for a job well done at Joudrs.
We definitely want to come back. I can highly recommend a stay at Joudrs.
On behalf of all the participants from Denmark: Thank you so much for a wonderful stay and everything you did for us.
Maja - Croatia
Since last year we had had an idea to take our kids to some tournament or camp out of Croatia for them to see how softball can be much more then just playing games and practices (as it is for us adults – meeting other people, seeing different ways of playing, making friends and of course travel). After help from our sponsor Span (covering the cost) and contacting some teams we found out about the camp with Danish kids and coaches in Joudrs (Czech Republic) and decided that it will be our destination. We (3 coaches and 9 kids) left Croatia on Tuesday night to come to Prague on Wednesday morning. First look was at 2 great fields in grass and one in artificial, with big clubhouse next to school (for me it was the best softball complex for developing softball I have seen – and have seen a lot in last 25 years and 4 different continents coaching and playing softball). First day went by in tryouts for dividing in different teams (we stopped just for lunch and little breaks) and games in the evening. At the end of the day we had to organize getting our sleeping bags and stuff in the gym, shower and sleep. That was also a good experience since all the kids (Danish and ours) were in the same gym they could mingle. Saturday was our last day and I think the peak of this trip since the players could show what they’ve learned during this week in a big tournament (8 teams) – and they’ve learned a lot and showed a lot. We ended up 4th! Almost 3rd – in final game we were leading and lost in last inning (since a lot of guys were really tired and injured, and other teams was pretty bigger and older then us)… The best thing about this trip was to see from day 1 till last day how they improved tremendously and other (not second) best thing is they loved it all the way. This is how kids should play this game – a bit of fun, a bit of learning and a bit of competition. We are very thankful to club Joudrs that gave us the opportunity to be a part of this youth festival of softball, and of course Danish guys for making this all happen. Special thanks to Ondra, Zuzana, Helena, Kevin and all the volunteers at the fields. Hope to see you next year, maybe in Croatia.
-HNov, Ondrej, Lene, Maja-