(Photo: FIH)

On 17 September 2011, the Polish Hockey Association (PHA) is running a special hockey event for children who suffer from Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS).

A feature of this complex genetic disorder is the affect it has on the experience of feeling hunger, with sufferers often feeling constantly hungry no matter how much they consume. Many children with the syndrome suffer from obesity, high blood pressure and heart problems. PWS affects approximately one in 10,000 to one in 25,000 newborns babies around the world.

The initiative to organize this family event was taken by the Polish Hockey Association, the Academy of Physical Education and Sylwia, a company owned by Krzysztof Witczak, the former coach of the Polish National Men team whose son suffers from PWS. The event will take place in Poznan at the Academy of Physical Education Stadium, which was the venue of the EuroHockey Nations Championship II for Women.

PWS specialists have long highlighted the importance of sport in supporting therapy for the condition. The aim of the event is to help educate society about the syndrome, as well as showing that sick children can achieve great results by combining therapy with playing hockey.  

The event will feature Polish national team members teaching children the basics of hockey, and will also feature a number of quizzes and much more. One of the stand-out elements of the event will be an exhibition hockey match between a collection of stars from other sports against local journalists and representatives. Both teams will be supported by the current men’s and women’s national team players as well as former greats of the Poland team, many of whom have competed at Olympic level.

In an effort to promote the event, the PHA has organized an advertising campaign which saw posters being placed in significant positions all around the city. The promotional campaign will also feature young hockey players cycling around the city complete with mini-banners ahead of the event.

For more information about Prader-Willi Syndrome, please click here.

Information supplied by Polish Hockey Association.