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News for 15 May 2021

All the news for Saturday 15 May 2021

2020-21 FIH Pro League (W) - 15 May
Sportcentrum Wilrijkse Plein-Antwerp

15 May 2021 17:30 (GMT +2)     BEL v USA (RR)   
16 May 2021 17:30 (GMT +2)      BEL v USA (RR)

Live streaming and full game replay on the Watch Hockey App (May be Geo blocked if there is TV coverage)

Pool Standings

Rank Team Played Wins SO Win SO Loss Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points Percent
1 Netherlands 11 8 1 0 1 32 7 25 29 87.9
2 Argentina 10 5 2 0 3 24 15 9 19 63.3
3 New Zealand 8 4 0 2 2 19 14 5 14 58.3
4 Germany 8 4 0 1 3 12 11 1 13 54.2
5 Australia 6 1 1 1 2 6 9 -3 9 50.0
6 Great Britain 10 3 2 1 3 14 13 1 14 46.7
7 Belgium 9 1 1 2 5 10 21 -11 7 25.9
8 China 2 0 0 0 2 2 7 -5 0 0.0
9 United States 6 0 0 0 5 5 27 -22 0 0.0

USA v NED (26.01.2020) worth double points because of the match cancelled on 24.01.2020
AUS v GBR (01.02.2020) worth double points because of the match cancelled on 02.02.2020

FIH Match Centre

Belgium blend youth and experience as they face USA

Emma Puvrez is one of a number of experienced players within the Belgium team and, despite having more than 130 caps to her name, the midfielder is excited for what the future holds for the Red Panthers as they get ready for their final set of FIH Hockey Pro League matches and the forthcoming EuroHockey Championships.

Unlike their FIH Hockey Pro League opponents, the USA, the Belgium squad has been able to get some competitive hockey action under their belts, albeit with their club sides rather than as a national team unit.

“It has been a difficult time but we were lucky because we have been playing club hockey,” says Puvrez. “For the national team, we have been able to train for the whole year, but it is great to get back into the rhythm of playing games again.”

Puvrez will be lining up for Belgium in their forthcoming two matches against the USA as they seek to maximise their points tally in their last few FIH Hockey Pro League matches of this campaign.

With further FIH Hockey Pro League matches against Argentina and the Netherlands on the horizon, Puvrez says these are invaluable opportunities to test a new squad, under a new coaching staff – led by Raoul Ehren – ahead of the EuroHockey Championships.

“We have played a few games in the year against Spain and Germany but aside from that we have really been doing inter-squad training. The Head Coach has used many ways to keep things fresh and exciting. It has all been very positive.

“Because of the games we played, we have already picked up the game rhythm and the newer members of the squad have picked things up quickly. Of course, in these matches we want to win, but the most important thing will be to technically improve. With a new coach, this will be the first real competition we will play with him.”

The Belgium squad facing the USA has a number of multi-capped players such as Puvrez, Judith Vandermeiren, Barbara Nelen and Stephanie Vanden Borre. These veterans of the team will be playing alongside newcomers such as Anne-Sophie Vanden-Borre, Justin Rasir and Anne-Sophie Roels – who all have less than five caps to their name. This makes for an exciting few months as the new players bring their own talents and skills to the squad.

“They have a lot of training experience but now they can put that into game play,” says Puvrez. “We need to find a really good balance but they will bring a lot of excitement to the play. They are willing to really go for it.”

When it comes to the USA, Puvrez is expecting a physical challenge. “It will be a really good game for us as we are a physical side too. We are at similar stages but it is also important for us to compare with others to see where we are.

“Our DNA is to play fast and quick hockey. We like to counter attack that is a big part of our game. Our midfield are very eager to score but also we have a coach who focuses on defence, so we will be defending hard and looking to counter-attack.”

Belgium host USA in the FIH Hockey Pro League on 15 and 16 May at the Sportcentrum Wilrijkse Plein, in Antwerp.

Watch the full video interview here


Official FIH Pro League Site

USA ready to ‘go, go, go’ In Belgium

Alyssa Parker won her first cap for the USA women’s national team in 2016 when she travelled with the senior squad to the Hawkes Bay tournament in New Zealand. Since then, she has travelled the world for the sport, including Olympic Qualifiers and two seasons of FIH Hockey Pro League.

Like all teams, USA has been hit hard by the restrictions enforced upon the world by the pandemic and there is palpable relief in the midfielder’s voice as she explains why it feel so good to be back playing international hockey again.

“It’s been a long year of no travel at all. But we are here in Belgium and it is all going very smoothly at the moment.

“It is so exciting to be back playing again,” says the midfielder, adding that the team was “fizzing” with energy on the pitch.

The past few weeks of preparation have been intense for the squad. Anthony Farry took over as Head Coach in 2020 but, through pandemic restrictions, has had little actual time with the squad.

“Normally we would have a much more consistent amount of time to prepare,” says Parker. “But it levels the playing field because every team has gone through similar. One thing we were all able to work on was our fitness, so when we came back, we were starting from a good fitness base, so we could focus on the hockey part.”

With the team restricted to inter-squad training matches for much of the lock-down period, Parker says the new Head Coach really showed some new ways of working to keep things fresh and the players motivated.

“Anthony has come to the squad with some really great drills. I would like to coach one day, so I write down all the drills when I get home. They are such exciting and fun practice ideas.”

The USA squad in Belgium is missing many of its most experienced players, such as Kat Sharley, Alyssa Manley and Ali Froed. For the players who are in Belgium however, this is a great opportunity to show what they can do on the international stage.

“Going into these matches, we are trying to solidify some core values," says Parker. "We know it won’t be perfect, we know we won’t always mesh with each other, there won’t always be great connections. But we are all trying to fit into new roles, some new leadership roles. It won’t be perfect but so long as we all work hard for each other, we will do all right.

“In a way, you will still see 100 per cent ‘go, go, go’ from the team. But Head Coach Farry has taught us that we don’t always have to go forward and always go fast. That opens us to a new variety and new style of play.”

For Parker, aside from two victories in Belgium, the other desired outcome is to see improvement over the eight quarters of action. “During the past seven weeks we have been working on our structure, so if we see that getting better in each quarter, then that will be good. Another big thing will be transitioning between going forwards and then getting back to be defensive. If we do that well, we will be pleased with ourselves.”

USA face Belgium in the FIH Hockey Pro League on 15 and 16 May in Antwerp. Currently USA are ninth in the league, with Belgium two places ahead in seventh position.

Watch the full interview here.


Official FIH Pro League Site

FIH Hockey Pro League Scouting Report: USWNT vs. Belgium

In anticipation of the U.S. Women's National Team's upcoming FIH Hockey Pro League match, here is a scouting report you’ll want to review before the starting whistle.

Game Day: Saturday, May 15, 2021 & Sunday, May 16, 2021

Time: Both at 11:30 a.m. ET

Location: Sportcentrum Wilrijkse Plein-Antwerp, Belgium

Live Stream: Don't miss a second of the FIH Hockey Pro League action and watch the USWNT take on No. 12 Belgium on Saturday and Sunday. Last September, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and NAGRA, a Kudelski Group (SIX:KUD.S) company and the world's leading independent provider of content protection and multiscreen video solutions, announced the launch of Watch.Hockey, a ground-breaking fan engagement app that creates a new digital “home of hockey” to the millions of hockey fans, players and officials worldwide.

Download the Watch.Hockey App free of charge on the Apple Store or Google Play.

Opponent: Belgium

FIH World Ranking: 12

Head to Head: The No. 15 USWNT will restart their FIH Hockey Pro League campaign when they take on No. 12 Belgium in two games at the Sportcentrum Wilrijkse Plein-Antwerp. The last time that USA and the Red Panthers played was April 2019, in the FIH Hockey Pro League, a game that Belgium narrowly took, 2-1, scoring in the final minute of play.

Head to Head
(since 2013)

5 Previous Matches
0 Draws





Total Goals


What You Need to Know: The matches in Antwerp sees seventh placed Belgium taking on bottom of the table USA, a team that have been unable to play an FIH Hockey Pro League match since mid-February 2020, when they suffered two 3-1 defeats against New Zealand in Christchurch. Since then, the USA has appointed Australian Anthony Farry – the man who guided Japan Women to the 2018 Asian Games title – as their new head coach. USA’s arrival in Europe will mark the start of a new chapter for the team, as they begin to plan for the years ahead. For Belgium’s Red Panthers, the matches against the USA are crucial to their build-up towards next month’s European Championships, a competition in which they were silver medallists in 2017.

USA Roster: Madeleine Bacskai, Mary Beth Beiler, Kelsey Bing, Kelsey Briddell, Linnea Gonzales, Danielle Grega, Alexandra Hammel, Karlie Heistand, Laura Hurff, Amanda Magadan, Lauren Moyer, Alyssa Parker, Haley Randall, Miranda Rigg, Kealsie Robles, Jillian Wolgemuth, Nicole Woods, Elizabeth Yeager

Belgium Roster: Ambre Ballenghien, Lucie Breyne,  Aisling D'Hooghe, France De Mot, Tiphaine Duquesne, Lien Hillewaert, Charlotte Englebert, Pauline Leclef, Barbara Nelen, Emma Puvrez, Justine Rasir, Abi Raye, Elena Sotgiu, Michelle Struijk, Stephanie Vanden Borre, Judith Vandermeiren, Louise Versavel, Anne-Sophie Weyns,

USFHA media release

Belgium-Argentina postponed

Lausanne, Switzerland: The FIH Hockey Pro League matches between Belgium and Argentina, initially scheduled on 22-23 May, have been postponed. This is due to the current international travel restrictions in place in the Netherlands – where the Argentinian teams were supposed to travel to reach Belgium - for South American countries because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, despite all efforts to find alternative flights, no solution could be found.

Consequently, FIH and the Hockey National Associations of Belgium and Argentina are currently looking at all potential options to play these matches at a later date.

The Belgian Women’s national team will play their FIH Hockey Pro League matches against the USA today and tomorrow as planned, in Antwerp, Belgium.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on the FIH Hockey Pro League via the Watch.Hockey app, event website and through FIH social media channels - Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Official FIH Pro League Site

Hockey on the radio? Listening has just as much appeal as TV

By Rod Gilmour

The FIH ran a first for its Pro League output on Thursday when it broadcast audio commentary for the GB v Germany games. Hockey on the radio? Give us more.

The medium was a welcome addition – and it works. In the fast-paced world of modern hockey, where it’s sometimes difficult to pick up the ball on TV, listening has the added benefit in the whole narrative.

I tuned in (okay, no dial just a link) for the first-half of the GB men’s game against Germany. Of course there is no substitute for being in a stadium live as a supporter, but given there are many nuances to reporting on the sport – the rolling subs, making sure you’ve spotted a change in goalkeepers, the end-to-end nature, who committed which foul in a crowded circle, which all told makes football feel like watching chess – sitting back and visualising the action was certainly stress-free.

It helps too that there are dab hands behind the mic. Nick Irvine and Todd Williams, a THP columnist, were ensconced in a makeshift sound booth at Oxford Hawks HC and taking the feed audio from Lee Valley. They were also working off one microphone, a la Murray Walker and James Hunt, the former F1 commentary supremos.

As firsts go, this hockey duo pulled it off. What worked best, in comparison to TV commentary, is the way radio can take a step back and add more knowledge for the listener without following every passage of play, while television voices naturally react to action on the pitch.

At half-time, Irvine and Williams chatted away in a podcast-style segment on the pressures of Olympic selection, while we also picked up some insight; learning that captain Janne Muller-Wieland had handed the armband to Charlotte Stapenhorst for the matches in case the pandemic should throw up some curveballs ahead of Tokyo.

Those 10 minutes of audio were far removed from TV, which fills the space with adverts and those half-time interviews with coaches.

Thursday night was a pilot run for FIH radio. Of course, there were potential pitfalls; not least with the conversational style missing the split second 80-yard aerial into the circle and goal. But as a direction goes for the old medium working in hockey? Saying ‘Alexa, Play FIH radio’ would have an appeal. And more so given that the whole objective of this is that it’s not geo-blocked, that dastardly phrase most hockey aficionados would like scrapped.

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Scotland women to face Ireland this weekend

Scotland women are back on the pitch this weekend for a two-match series against Ireland at Queens University, Belfast.

The uncapped games, which take place on Saturday at 3pm and Sunday at 1pm come after elite dispensation was granted to our national squads to prepare for European competition this summer.

On 4-13 June Scotland women take to the pitch in Amsterdam at the EuroHockey Championships, a return to the top-flight of European hockey after their sensation gold medal success in Glasgow at EuroHockey Championships II.

Scotland will face Ireland in Amsterdam, along with pool matches against the Netherlands and Spain.

On Saturday 5 June Scotland take on Spain to get their tournament underway before the contest against Ireland on Monday 7 June, and their final pool match against the Netherlands on Wednesday 9 June.

This weekend’s training matches against Ireland, who are also preparing for the Tokyo Olympics, will provide the Scots with some much needed pitch time after a long lay-off due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and with the EuroHockey Championship on the horizon.

Scotland will also play a training match against Ireland U23 during the trip.

The matches will not be live streamed.

Scotland Head Coach Jen Wilson said, “The squad is looking positively ahead to our matches versus Ireland and their U23 team and using this valuable time together to take another step forward in our preparation for the Europeans. For many people worldwide, and ourselves, the pandemic has thrown a multitude of obstacles their way, however we still see every moment together and every match as an opportunity to grow and develop as a team.

“Ireland are always tough competitors and the timing of this challenge is essential for our players to take another step up and play a team who are in their final preparation phase for the Tokyo Olympics.”

Scotland women’s squad

McKenzie Bell (Uddingston)
Jess Buchanan (Atletic Terrassa)
Fiona Burnet (Wimbledon)
Lucy Camlin (Watsonians)
Louise Campbell (Edinburgh University)
Robyn Collins (Surbiton)
Bex Condie (Gloucester)
Emily Dark (Dundee Wanderers)
Jen Eadie (Clydesdale Western)
Kate Holmes (Western Wildcats)
Sarah Jamieson (Watsonians)
Heather McEwan (HGC)
Heather Howie (Dundee Wanderers)
Katie Robertson (Edinburgh University)
Lexi Sabatelli (Atletic Terrassa)
Fiona Semple (Clydesdale-Western)
Bronwyn Shields (Clydesdale-Western)
Millie Steiger (Clydesdale-Western)
Ellie Wilson (Dundee Wanderers)
Becky Ward (Western Wildcats)

Scottish Hockey Union media release

India hockey team forward Gurjant Singh: Focusing on physical strength to withstand Tokyo heat  

The Indian team is currently training at SAI facilities in Bengaluru

India hockey team forward Gurjant Singh: Focusing on physical strength to withstand Tokyo heat   Picture by Rodrigo Jaramillo - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. WorldSportpics

The Indian men's hockey team has been training in a bio-bubble at the SAI (Sports Authority of India) in Bengaluru for almost a year. This meant that the team has remained together for several months which has helped them understand each other much better.

Gurjant Singh, one of the more experienced players of the squad, feels that team bonding was one of the primary reasons for their brilliant performance in Europe and Argentina.

"We all have been together at the camp since one year, and I don't think any other team would have spent this much amount of time together during the lockdown. I feel that is one of the plus points that everyone has been together for such a long time," said Gurjant, who got an opportunity to play for India on their recent tours.

"We all had that hunger to perform, to put in all our preparations at test, especially against a quality side like Argentina. We were really excited to be back. We were in a fresh frame of mind, and I feel that really helped us in gaining momentum on the tours."

Gurjant Singh in action Picture by WORLDSPORTPICS.COM/FFU

The foreign trips allowed Graham Reid to understand the condition of his team after a long break. The competitive minutes against hockey powerhouses like Germany, Argentina, and Great Britain have helped them gauge their strengths and weaknesses before flying to Tokyo.

"It's a plus point that we got a chance to play against Germany, Great Britain and Argentina at this crucial juncture. We not only got to know about our strengths and weaknesses but also about theirs. We got to know about their style of play. Hence, I feel this experience will really help us compete against them at the Olympics," said the 26-year old.

In July, the temperature soars in Japan so the team is also practicing in hot weather conditions to get used to the heat.

"We are currently working on our physical strength. We are making ourselves physically strong and getting used to the hot weather conditions. Since it will be the summer season in Japan during the Olympics, we are getting used to the heat. So, we are taking advantage of our current weather conditions. Moreover, as we get closer to the Olympics, we will shift our focus to the technical aspects of the game," said Gurjant.

India have not finished on the podium in hockey since 1980 but Gurjant feels things can change this time as they are preparing in the best possible manner.

"We are really in a fresh frame of mind, and we have been working hard together. It's the dream of every athlete to represent his or her nation at the Olympics. And, it is the biggest and only reason why every one of us is here. We are lucky enough that we are getting a proper setting here (at the camp) to train and prepare ourselves for the Olympics," he concluded.

Olympic Channel

Striker Gurjant Singh says lockdown has helped India's team bonding before Olympics

Gurjant, who has played 47 matches for India, said staying together in a bio-bubble for nearly a year helped the team improve its bonding ahead of the Tokyo Games.

Gurjant Singh also said he feels the experiences of recent tours will help India in the Olympics, scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8.   -  FILE PHOTO/BISWARANJAN ROUT

Staying together in a bio-bubble for most of last year helped in team bonding and building understanding among players before the Tokyo Olympics, feels Indian men's hockey outfit striker Gurjant Singh.

Gurjant has so far played 47 matches for the national side.

"We all have been together at the camp since one year, and I don't think any other team would have spent this much amount of time together during the lockdown," he said.

READ: India benefited from video analysis during Europe, Argentina tours: Rohidas

"I feel that is one of the plus points that everyone has been together for such a long time," Gurjant added.

Focussed on the upcoming Olympics, he said the team has been working as a unit.

"After the nationwide lockdown ended we never stopped training. We kept working hard and kept on communicating with each other throughout the time spent together. I think it has built a natural understanding among us and because of that, the team has been working as a unit.

"... That's one of the big reasons behind our successful tours to Europe and Argentina," added Gurjant, who was part of the overseas trips.

He said the hunger to perform at the top level paid dividends in the recent tours.

"We all had that hunger to perform, to put in all our preparations to test, especially against a quality side like Argentina.

"We were really excited to be back. We were in a fresh frame of mind, and I feel that really helped us in gaining momentum on the tours." The Amritsar-born player feels the experiences of recent tours will help the world number five side in the Olympics, scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8.

"It's a plus point that we got a chance to play against Germany, Great Britain and Argentina at this crucial juncture. We not only got to know about our strengths and weaknesses but also about theirs.

"We got to know about their style of play. Hence, I feel this experience will really help us compete against them at the Olympics," said Gurjant.


Spain invests in Terrassa Stadium for 2022 Women’s World Cup

Spanish hockey will aim to mesh culture, food and promote women’s sport when it co-hosts the 2022 Hockey World Cup.

Terrassa will host Pool matches as well as the semi-finals and final when it shares World Cup duties with Wagener Stadium in Amsterdam for the July 1-17 event.

This week, the Royal Spanish Hockey Federation has announced Óscar Gallego as executive director for the Women’s World Cup showpiece. Gallego has worked on Davis Cup finals and European Athletics Championships.

He said: “We want to promote women’s sport and the Terrassa brand, in addition to making the event sustainable” .

Spanish hockey has been helped by Iberdrola, an energy company which supports women’s sport and also sponsors Spain’s domestic league.

Gallego added: “We want Terrassa to not be just hockey. It is a city where many sports are practiced, which are mixed with a great cultural wealth and that must be present.

“We want people to come and live an experience at all levels. We will look for them to participate and get involved in the event.”

Olympic Hockey Stadium, Terrassa

He added that the World Cup “must be a mix of sport, leisure, gastronomy and fun. That they can enjoy the best women’s teams on the planet, but also many other things that we will offer them.”

Spain will host a World Cup for the third time following events in 1978 and in 2006.

From scraping through to the Hockey World League 2 in Valencia in 2013, Spain women won World Cup bronze at London 2018.

2022 Women’s World Cup schedule:

Preliminary Phase:

    2 Preliminary phase pools in the Netherlands (including the Dutch team)
    2 Preliminary phase pools in Spain (including the Spanish team)

Quarter-finals: July 12/13

    2 crossover matches and 2 quarter-finals in the Netherlands
    2 crossover matches and 2 quarter-finals in Spain

Final phase in Spain: July 16/17

    Semi-finals: July 16
    Match for 3rd place: July 17
    Final: July 17

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Tumilty looking forward to unleashing young guns on international stage

Irish coach Mark Tumilty. Picture: Bryan Keane/Inpho

With some light at the end of the Covid tunnel. Irish men’s coach Mark Tumilty is looking forward to finally unleashing some young guns onto the international stage following almost a 20-month wait.

The last outings for the side were October 2019’s ill-fated Olympic qualifiers in Vancouver. With the end of that cycle, there was always going to be a turnover of players and some new faces as the coach looked to the 2023 World Cup and Paris 2024.

That rejuvenation, however, went on hold with the 2020 schedule wiped out but the Banbridge man can look forward to a busy second half to this year with plenty on the table.

Fixtures against Scotland and Great Britain are pencilled in for June and July ahead of August’s EuroHockey Championship II in Gniezno, Poland and a subsequent World Cup qualifier in October.

It is a flurry of action from which Tumilty says plenty of new faces will get their chance to shine.

“We have a very young group, an exciting group and one that has worked extremely hard over the last year,” he said.

“But it is definitely a rebuild job that we need to embrace. We need to be patient with these players. There will be ups and downs and challenges but I definitely think there is talent to work with and that’s part of the enjoyment in the role.”

Having that World Cup qualifier shot is a big boost for Tumilty. It means a top four finish at the Euro B division will put the Green Machine into an eight-team event with two places on the line.

Initially, such an avenue looked to be off limits but the European Hockey Federation’s members canvassed successfully for this option to be introduced.

“Excellent news. When I first saw we weren’t getting a World Cup qualifier shot, alarm bells were ringing. But it reflects the good work of the EHF and their relationship they have with their federations.

“They deserve a lot of credit for that. It gives the lads a good focus for the next three or four months and could give us an extra focus for 2022.

“Having said that, with the FIH calendar, there is lots happening every year with the Nations Cup and the new Euro qualifier process. It is good to see that it gives us a structure.

“It highlights to me the importance of growing our player base. A lot of the guys returning home are now going into employment; we have to recognise people have a certain amount of annual leave; there’s not the same flexibility as if they were full-time players. We need to be able to manage it and have those younger players coming through.”

Since the Olympic qualifiers, Chris Cargo and Eugene Magee have formally retired while Jonny Bell, Stephen Cole and Stu Loughrey are taking time out for the time being.

It means opportunity knocks for the youngsters which Tumilty has been working with in regional sessions. In Munster, ex-internationals David Hobbs and Jonny Bruton have been heading things up; in Ulster, Erroll Lutton, Ray Geddis and Scott McCandless are in situ while Irish Under-21 coach Joe Brennan and senior assistant coach Jason Klinkradt are on board in Leinster.

Tumilty has also picked up some strong additions to his support staff. Eoin Cunniffe has been installed as physical performance lead for the side and the junior age groups while Neill Irwin will be the team manager and nutritionist.

“Eoin co-ordinates the medical side of the staff, the physios, the S&C and so on. He has done really well in developing the guys physically. The way the game has gone, it has moved a bit more toward the physical side from the technical and tactical side.

“We have definitely made strides in that area which I am pleased with. He has a good relationship with the players and is someone we are working with a long-term objective to develop in the underage groups.

“For Neill, he is also involved with Dublin GAA as a nutritionist which gives him a great understanding of high performance and has been involved with a very successful and professional environment.

“Manager is a key role and he has developed a good relationship with the players. Staffing-wise, it is good to get the team nailed down. It has taken a while but it is getting there.”

The Hook

PRO and England & GB Hockey Announce Partnership Extension

OPRO, the world’s largest manufacturer of the most technically advanced mouthguard, today announced the renewal of its official supplier agreement with England and GB Hockey.

OPRO are delighted to renew their partnership with England and GB Hockey for a further three years up to April 2024.

As part of the agreement, OPRO will supply mouthguards to the men’s and women’s Under 16s, Under 18s, Under 21s, Elite Development Squads and Senior Squads. OPRO have also been granted the rights to manufacture exclusive England and GB Hockey mouthguards, in both Custom and Power-Fit ranges.

OPRO Marketing Director Daniel Lovat said: “We are delighted to renew our partnership with England and GB Hockey during this exciting time for the sport.

“It’s an honour to work with such iconic organisations and talented players, particularly in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympics this summer!”

Nick Pink, Chief Executive Officer at England and Great Britain Hockey, said: “It is fantastic to be able to continue our partnership with OPRO. With a mouthguard being such a crucial piece of equipment for all hockey players in our sport we are glad to be working with the leading manufacturer in the market. We very much look forward to bringing this relationship to life during what is an exciting period for the sport.”

With over 20 years’ experience, OPRO is dedicated to bringing leading technology and safety to athletes at all levels of sport and is the official mouthguard partner of a number of professional sporting organizations, including the UFC, Hockey Ireland, Scottish Hockey, Hockey Wales, Great Britain Taekwondo, England Rugby, Wales Rugby, New Zealand Rugby and Australia Rugby.

Great Britain Hockey media release

Bloemendaal and Den Bosch hold aces ahead of decisive weekend

Bloemendaal and Den Bosch hold the aces going into Saturday’s second leg of the best of three Dutch finals series following away wins on Thursday.

On the men’s side, Bloemendaal came from a goal down to earn a shoot-out – courtesy of Arthur van Doren’s penalty corner slap with eight minutes to go – and went on to win in sudden death.

Kampong had led 2-1 courtesy of penalty corner goals from Jip Jansen and Martijn Havenga prior to van Doren’s equaliser. In the shoot-out, despite an injury to David Harte, Kampong had led 3-2 at one stage but ultimately succumbed 4-3.

It means Bloemendaal need to win either on Saturday or on Sunday at home to secure the national title once more. For Kampong, they must win both games but they will have to do it without the services of Sander de Wijn for the first game due to a suspension in the wake of his third yellow card of the season which he picked up on Thursday.

The equation is similar in the women’s competition after Frédérique Matla got the only goal of the first game at the Wagener Stadium. She struck on her backhand in the first half for 1-0 and they held on to that result until the end.

The two sides meet again at Oosterplas on Saturday – and potentially Sunday – with Amsterdam needing to win both while Den Bosch need one win to be crowned champions once again.

Euro Hockey League media release

Pioneering students win award for interactive hockey stick

King's School student 6th formers, Macclesfield

Students wowed some of the UK’s top engineering minds with an interactive hockey stick to win the National Award for Innovation in the revered Engineering Education Scheme.

The King’s School team of six Year 12 students, based in Macclesfield, north of England, have worked over the last six months to produce a revolutionary new sports training aid.

The young designers produced a prototype and an 80-page report detailing their advances to impress the panel, which included using a micro-computer, materials science and data gathering and analysis.

The idea was brainstormed with the school’s hockey department before they set about the task.

Team member Abi Breese-Tovey said: “The concept centred on negative reinforcement, getting the stick to make a noise if it was held incorrectly. We also wanted to send information from the stick to an app on the coaches’ phones detailing how hard the ball was being hit according to each type of stroke.”

Local business owner and mentor John Blackwell, said: “As a country, we have a history of pioneering and innovative engineers and King’s Physics department, led by Dr Hartnett, is introducing and inspiring new students to be tomorrow’s great British engineers.”

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