Hockey: Celebrating Inclusion on International Down Syndrome Day

In the world of hockey, triumph isn't just measured in goals scored or games won; it's also found in the stories of individuals who defy expectations and overcome challenges through sheer determination and passion for the sport.

On 21 March, World Down Syndrome Day, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) is celebrating two remarkable athletes whose journeys through Hockey with Intellectual Disability, also known as Hockey ID, exemplify the power of inclusion, resilience, and teamwork. 

Chloé Lucy Beloin, a spirited athlete from Wiesbaden, Germany, has embarked on a transformative journey through hockey that has taken her to the pinnacle of sporting excellence. As a member of the German Specialhockey Team, Chloé's dedication and drive made her a key player for the squad at the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin 2023. 

Despite the distance between her hometown and the training grounds in Cologne, Chloé's commitment to her craft saw her travel independently, and eventually move into her own independent apartment before the Special Olympics, demonstrating not only her athletic prowess but also her remarkable organisational skills and independence. 

Germany' Chloé Lucy Beloin, player for the German Specialhockey Team. FIH
Germany' Chloé Lucy Beloin, player for the German Specialhockey Team. FIH

With each practice and game, Chloé's confidence grew, thanks to the unwavering support of her teammates and the sense of belonging fostered by the hockey community. Her journey wasn't just about winning medals; it was about personal growth, social development and realising her own potential. 

As she proudly represented Wiesbaden on the world stage, Chloé's declaration of winning a gold medal in Berlin was more than just a statement - it was a testament to her newfound strength, focus and confidence, all nurtured through the power of hockey. 

Alongside Chloé's journey of triumph and self-discovery, the FIH also met Farrell Blum from the United States, whose love of hockey has become a beacon of joy and connection in his life. Through his participation in the sport, Farrell has not only honed his athletic skills but also found a sense of belonging and camaraderie with his coaches and teammates. 

For USA's Farrell Blum, hockey is a very important part of his life. FIH
For USA's Farrell Blum, hockey is a very important part of his life. FIH

With each practice and tournament, Farrell's confidence blossomed, as did his ability to communicate and engage with others - a testament to the transformative impact of sport on people of all abilities. 

For him, hockey isn't just a game; it's a source of joy, empowerment, and shared experiences that transcend barriers and stereotypes. With the unwavering support of his family and the inclusive environment fostered by his team, Farrell's journey has become a testament to the limitless potential that lies within every individual, regardless of their background or ability. 

As the FIH reflects on the inspiring journeys of Chloé and Farrell, it reminds of the transformative power of sport to unite, inspire, and empower people of all abilities. Their stories are a powerful reminder that inclusion isn't just about opening doors - it's about creating spaces where everyone can thrive, excel, and pursue their dreams, both on and off the field.