Every concept has a start. The Hockey Corporate success was unexpected fast and rapidly growing. In 7 years time, from the small initial tournament, the Hockey Corporate has now become one major and appreciated hockey event! Let's discover the story!
2008 : Development of an idea
Everything started end-2008 in a famous "Big Four" audit company. In this young and dynamic atmosphere, a few colleagues were extremely motivated to participate to different sport activities. But at the end, field-hockey was always missing as no competition existed. If no tournament exists, why not playing at least one friendly match against a competitor?
Gaétan Derenne had the intuition that some of his friends were able to create a hockey-field team in their respective companies... and proposed the development of an innovative formula :
Play matches with 7 players per team on the pitch, as it is often played in the summer tournaments
Compete at least 2 other teams during the same evening as those matches generally last only 30 minutes
- Propose a tournament in a 4 hours schedule
Still a pitch to find and the invitations could be launched!
2009 : Birth of a tournament
Directly, Ixelles through its president Daniel Jourde, proposed to settle the tournament in its installations. The event could be launched and rapidly, 10 teams were registered: 5 with a good hockey level and 5 with a more fun spirit. Moreover, an original idea was to invoice the subscription fees to the companies using the entity of the Ixelles Hockey Club. Corporate teams were ready to compete each other during one evening!
2009 - 1st edition : An unexpected success
What a surprised by the atmosphere lived on that day. Participants were extremely well prepared and arrived with inventive equipments and supporters. Teams composed of Flemish, Walloons or foreigners, defend together the colors of its company with this unexpected fighting spirit! There were no longer colleagues but only friends on the pitch. The Hockey Corporate concept was born.
2010 - 2nd edition : Creation of a concept
Thanks to this success, the tournament could rapidly grow up. By word of mouth, an increasing demand of corporate teams proposed to participate at this tournament. From that day, 3 differents game levels were offered.
More professionalism was paid to this second edition. To bring up some more intensity, the game schedules were organized as much as possible between opponent corporate teams. The pictures and the food became important elements of the concept.
2011 - 3rd edition : Start of an association
For the third edition, there were works in progress in Ixelles so that the tournament should necessarily move. It gives the idea to Gaétan Derenne and Daniel Jourde to create an independent entity : the Hockey Corporate Association. To help them in this creation, they asked the help of a law expert, Gregory Uyttenhove, one of the most promising Belgian top referee. Thanks to his precious help, the entity was rapidly created.
With this new entity, the Hockey Corporate could take from that moment take place everywhere in each clubs. It could centralize the subscriptions of all teams and was administratively easier for everyone.
Thanks to the positive image developed during the previous editions, up to 52 teams could be welcome in 4 different evenings. 100% of the teams that have participated in the previous editions came back.
In only 3 years time, it has become one of the major events of the Belgian Summer Hockey world. The Hockey Corporate has found his place and grows up year after year. The story has started and is only a beginning.
To be continued...