The Belarus Korfball Academy (Russian: Белорусская Академия Корфбола) is a training institute for Belarus korfball talents.
Mission: to train the top talents of Belarus korfball to participate on international championships in national representative squads and to have these talents promote korfball in Belarus.
Korfball in Belarus knows a rapid start in 2009. A cultural exchange between the Dutch Eindhoven and Belarus capital Minsk means that korfball is played at a number of schools in Minsk. Within two years a squad under sixteen takes part in the U16 Talent World Cup. Korfball is played in different cities. Because of limited finances, korfball stays a sport mostly for high school students. After the national squad under sixteen, talents fade out of view.
The academy wants to give these talents the opportunity to keep developing themselves in the area of korfball. The first step is training players under nineteen. By keeping this group together and extending it, a possible national selection of adults is created that can take part in European and World Championships.
These first talents should also start to train young children in Belarus in the places where they live. This way a regular inflow of new talents is established. These new korfball players will get an increasingly higher level through growing knowledge about korfball in Belarus.
The academy organises training camps in Belarus for players in the age groups under nineteen and above. These training camps have a duration of three or four days and take place multiple times per year. The intention is to organise a three week training camp during the Summer. The academy has signed an agreement with the Belarus State University of Physical Culture in Minsk to use its facilities for the regular training camps.The intention is to visit tournaments and have practise games in other countries to get more game experience.
During the central training sessions the participants get technical and tactical training and many videos of top games are watched. Next to the Dutch coaches, every time Belarus coaches are invited to assist in giving training. This way these coaches learn to give effective korfball training through practise.
The academy selects the participants of its educational program independently. The intention is that participants come from at least three cities. Selection of national squads is no task of the academy. This is the sole responsibility of the Belarus Korfball Federation.
Marc Stroo is founder of the academy. As son of an IKF volunteer in 1992 he takes his first steps in international korfball as a coach. He assists Karel Verschoor with a korfball trip through Czech Republic and Slovakia. After this a period of some years follows where he does various activities for the IKF, including German student korfball. In 2001 he starts the international korfball website KorfballWorld.com. among others he visits Romania for korfball and from this experience learns more about the problems that small, starting korfball countries (in Europe) face. In The Netherlands Marc trains various U19 and adult squads through the years.
Marc has contacts with Russian players for some years by now, including Sergey Nizovskiy. Nizovskiy becomes coach of the Russian national squad under sixteen and introduces Marc in 2011 to the Belarus korfball people. They are glad to get this Dutch support. In December 2011 Marc travels to the Eastern European country for the first time to referee at national championships, hold clinics and make a pre-selection for under sixteen and under nineteen national squads. The U16 group that comes from this process in the end can't go to the U16 Talent World Cup of 2012. A new attempt in 2013 succeeds. The enthousiasm and potential of the core of these squads inspires Marc to start this academy and make it a success.
Besides Marc there are other people from The Netherlands that are active for the academy on a more irregular basis.
Special thanks and gratitude goes out to: