9 Nations preparing for the Paralympics in Lasko
The top players from 9 different nations (Croatia, Germany, Italia, Netherlands, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and USA) prepare for the highlight of the year - the paralympics in Bejing in September. 23 Wheelchairs and 12 Standings practice six hours per day in the hall. It's the same location as used for the Slovenian Open in May. Coaches from Slovenia, Norway, Serbia, the Netherlands and Germany drilling the players in two groups.One session in the morning, another in the afternoon is the program of each day. Exercises, multi-balls-training and also some matches are part of the plan.
"The players are highly motivated, they practice on a very high level. We built up the basics to play succesfull Paralympic Games" says Gorazd Vecko, the organizer of the camp.
"We are here, because we want to practice with a lot of different wheelchair players on a high level. This possibility we do not have at home. The standard here is very high. Here are some of the best players of the world, 4 are number one another 2 are number two of the world." adds Joachim Voigt from Germany.
The team from the Netherlands visits the camp not the first time. "It's a fixed part of our preparation for the big events." says Johan Lieftink, Head-Coach of the Netherlands.
And also the coaches enjoy the programm: massage, sauna, cycling, running and talking at the bar are also important things while the 10 days in Slovenia. "Of course we are here to practice, but the top hotel and the nice village and nature here makes it easier to relax before and after training" describes Jan Bergersen the atmosphere in Lasko.
"Next year we will repeat this kind of training camp and we are sure that it will help a lot of players to reach a high level in Bejing" finishes Gorazd Vecko, the Slovenian coach.