Showdown in Sweden|
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The Swedish team at the IBSA Showdown World Championships 2009
At top from left: Andreas Johansson, Claudio Quitral, Johnnie Brinley.
In front from left: Ida Östlund, Anders Moritz, Elvira Sjöblom, Zebastian Modin
History of Swedish Showdown
Conny Nygren got the possibility to go to Copenhagen in 1988 and see the first of Showdown. When he came home to Sweden he started some projects to make own Showdown tables and let the visual impaired pupils come to the Resource Center and start to play.
During 1990-2000 Conny started School Championships for children and youngsters of the ages 9-20.
Conny also started to develop the new Showdown tables that are used all over the world today. He also helped the pupils who visited the Resource Center to get their own tables in their schools.
I met Conny in 2001. I don’t remember why, but it was not about Showdown. Conny showed me the table and after that I was really stuck. He and I went to Prague, and he took me to a meeting with IBSA Sub-Committee. He wanted me to take his place, but I didn’t believe that my English would be good enough to understand what they were talking about. Thank you Conny for that, and thank you for your fantastic great job for Showdown in Sweden and all the world. And also for your great work to develop the tables, taking the tables around the world, promoting Showdown everywhere and also for your absolute belief in Showdown now, back then and in the future!
Swedish youngsters participated in the end of the 90s and in the beginning of 2000 in tournaments in Copenhagen and Amsterdam.
SIF organized an international tournament in Stockholm 2001 (I think). The year after that, we had our first Haninge Open with players from some countries in Europe. 2003 we had the second Haninge Open and there were a lot of players there. We also organized an education for Swedish referees for Showdown.
2002 we went to Krnov in the Czech Republic and participated in the first EC. Sofia Naesström from Sweden was the first Champion. We were their with a full team, but the star was Sofia.
2004 we organized the second EC in Handen in Sweden. During this EC Sofia Naesström took silver and Anders Moritz was no. 6 in the male class.
2005 The Czech Republic organized the first WC in Olomouc. Three continents with 9 countries participated. The first Champions were Ieke Wiersma and Jack van Oosterhout from Holland. Sofia got the silver medal. I can also say that Claudio Quitral was no. 8 and my myself no. 9. The team also got the silver medal. Nice memory!
2006 the third EC was organized by The Netherlands. The Dutch took nearly all medals. Claudio was the best foreigner as no. 5.
2007 and 2008 we organized Haninge Open again. A lot of players from Europe participated. And now the Swedish male players played well even if we not got the gold.
2002-2006 we played more or less in only three four clubs in Sweden. But in 2006 The Swedish Sport Organization For Disabled NPC/Sweden gave us the message that if we could have six clubs in a tournament and managed to have a committee and during 2007 organize an inofficial Swedish Championship in Showdown they should give us official status as a sport in their organization from July 1st 2007.
We done it and the first official SC was held in Bollnäs 2008. Claudio Quitral won the male class and Ida Östlund the female class.
2008 Finland organized the fourth EC and Claudio Quitral got the gold medal. I think that was a real big step forward for Swedish Showdown.
2009 we organized the second WC here in Handen, Sweden. There were new Champions in all classes. You can read more about it at our website.
Since 2002 Sweden has tried to participate in all open tournaments in Europe. We have been in Krnov (Czech Republic), Tilburg (Holland), Milano (Italy), Paragames Breda (Holland), some cup-tournaments in Finland and of course in our six own open international tournaments we have organized.
2008/2009 we had our first open Swedish Cup. Where we got our qualifications to be in the SC.
The last one of the Swedish International Tournaments was in May this year. European Top Twelve! It was my idea to let the absolute best players in Europe play against each other. Tough matches in best of five sets. The women played best of three. The winners was Sven van de Wege and Danique van der Kaaij from Holland. I hope that can be a tradition in the future.
The Swedish Sport Organization For Disabled/NPC Sweden has helped us from the beginning. From the beginning with a little money. And from 2007 they have been great. I want to give special thanks to our General Secretary, Stig Carlsson. He has believed in what we have done and today the whole board and organization is walking forward with us for the future!
There could be much more to tell. But I will stop here. Today I think we are ten or eleven clubs playing Showdown. That is wonderful for me to see. My heart really burns for Showdown!
SIF, Synskadades Idrottsförening
SHIF/NPC Sweden Showdown Committee
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