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News for 11 July 2015

All the news for Saturday 11 July 2015

Business time in Toronto!

World League wrap-up for participating Pan American teams

Sarah Juggins

The waiting and preparations are nearly over. Teams face less than a week before they take to the field in Toronto for the start of the Pan-American Games. While the squads have been building for this moment ever since qualification was announced, for some sides, their recent endeavours have meant that the Pan-Am Games has an even greater significance.

For the teams that have returned to the continent following the Hockey World League Semi-Finals, they will know that they either: have a ticket to Rio 2016; need to win in order to qualify for Rio; or know what they have to do to build for the long-term - maybe with Tokyo 2020 in mind.

For all the teams, the Pan-American Games is one of the biggest competitions in the calendar. Not only do the players get to demonstrate their hockey skills to a wide and, often new , audience, but they can also gain invaluable world ranking points and for some teams, there is always the chance of that Olympic qualification spot.

Six nations from the continent went to the Hockey World League Semi-Finalsin hope of achieving an early Olympic qualification spot, and the events – two men's competitions and two women's competitions – have brought mixed blessings to the Pan-American teams who took part. Here we take a quick look at how the teams fared and what the players and managers had to say about the experience.

Argentina men were winners in Buenos Aires in every sense of the word, picking up a silver medal and an automatic Olympic qualification spot. Speaking after the event, coach Carlos Retegui was playing it cool. "Yes, we are very pleased to have won and to qualify, but now we have work to do and I must get my squad re-focused."

Juan Gilardi was in London for the 2012 Olympics, but then the 34-year-old was assistant coach to the Argentina women. He is looking forward to his own moment in the sun. "It is amazing, we are so happy to have qualified for the Olympics. Our objective from now is to prepare for Rio, so of course performing well at the Pan-Ams is crucial in that. After the World Cup in 2014 we changed the way we trained. We will now look at this again. We have players in Europe and here, so we need individual training plans as well as groups training. We still need to grow up."

At London I was assistant coach with the women's team. I will hope to play the Olympics at 34 years old. It has come at the end of my career, but I am so happy about that."

Their counterparts, Las Leonas, were made to sweat for a while. They finished fourth in Valencia after losing to Germany on shoot-out. The first three teams in each of the two Semi-Finals automatically qualified, then it came down to where the other teams finish in that event and what their current world ranking is. It wasn't until Australia defeated New Zealand in the other Hockey World League Semi-Final that Argentina's place at Rio 2016 was assured. New Zealand have a World Ranking of four, which meant that Argentina's ranking of three gave them the nod over the Black Sticks.

Speaking after their loss to Germany in the semi-finals, Argentina's coach Santi Capurro spoke philosophically about the result. Argentina had plenty of chances to kill the game off during the match, but an outstanding performance by German goalkeeper Kristina Reynolds in the match and then in the shoot-out meant Germany took the qualification spot. "Hey, I am proud of my team and how they played but today it just didn't fall our way. We will go back, regroup and come back to contest the Pan-Americans. Whether we had qualified or not, we always look to win every game and the Pan-Ams is our next target."

For Craig Parnham's USA women's team, the Hockey World League Semi-Finals were a frustrating disappointment. They finished fifth overall and really must win the Pan-American Games to ensure they are on the field in Rio. A disappointing capitulation to Argentina in the quarter finals in the Hockey World League Semi-Finals in Valencia means USA's triumphant surge up the rankings and into the top four was brought to a crashing halt. It has almost certainly a drop in USA's FIH World Ranking, with Germany, China and England all queuing up to overtake USA by virtue of their performances in the same tournament.

Since returning to their home base at Spooky Nook, the team has been working hard on improving the elements of their game that let them down in Valencia.

Coach Craig Parnham said: "The final phase of our preparations have gone well. We have had a productive week and are looking forward to getting to Toronto. We are excited to get the tournament underway. We will look to continue to be consistent in respect of the number of opportunities that we create as well as maintaining a strong defensive platform from which to play off."

Canada men enjoyed their time in Buenos Aires, a fourth place finish puts them nicely in contention for Olympic qualification and they performed way beyond their world ranking spot. Their results means the Canadians will move up the FIH World Rankings, possibly overhauling Ireland and South Africa in the process.

The same level of achievement and success was not enjoyed by Canada women. Losses to China, Argentina, Great Britain and Spain in the pool matches and then a defeat by 29th ranked Uruguay in the 9/10th play-off left the north American side feeling wounded.

Speaking after their final game, Canada women's coach Ian Rutledge said: “We’re a young team and we need experience and I think this tournament (HWL Semi-Final) has provided us with that. It shows us where we are at and a benchmark for us. We can now go away and grow, work on the areas that we need to be at to compete against the top teams.

“From the tournament perspective, it was a really important tournament for us to attempt to qualify. From a process point of view and a long-term view, this experience will do our young team a world of good."

Experience is certainly something that Uruguay will have gained from their experiences in Valencia. The team brought a flair and excitement to the tournament and improved with every game. As a nation that has no water-based pitch and has not competed at such a high quality world level before, the South American team won a lot of admirers. "This has been a great learning curve for us," said captain Sofia Mora.

With qualification spots still up for grabs, nothing will be decided until all the continental qualifiers are completed, and with so much at stake, expect the going to get tough in Toronto.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

Analysing Olympic goals

Canada's aiming for Rio 2016 with the help of sports analyses

Canada's dreams of Olympic qualification are one step closer thanks to good results at the recent Hockey World League Semi-Final in Buenos Aires. Whilst they have not qualified yet, winning the Pan Am Games hockey competition in their homeland will guarantee them a ticket to Rio 2016.

Paul Mounter is one of a number of backroom staff employed by Canada Field Hockey to support the players as they enter some of the most important days of their playing careers.

His role is team analyst, assessing training and match videos and relaying that information to the coaching team so they can monitor their own players and gather information about their opponents.

As he explains, as team Analyst at a hockey event, Mounter puts in more pitch time than the players. "On tour it's long days. There are four games during a day, which means 10 hours at the pitch and then analysis on the day's play, both on ourselves as well as future opponents.

"A typical day will see me up at 6am to get things from the day before finished off. We then head to the pitch, where we film and code four games before heading back to the hotel. Add additional analysis and then we head to bed around 1-2am to get up at 6am and repeat."

While Mounter has a day job, in the weeks leading up to a tournament, much of his spare time is spent preparing for the forthcoming event. This usually involves some work with the team – around two mornings a week – but a lot of analysis of other teams.

It was an injury that forced Mounter into the role of Performance Analyst. He sustained damage to his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in 2004 and so turned to coaching. As someone with a science and technology background, he quickly embraced video in his own coaching. When a position became vacant with Field Hockey Canada, he was a natural fit for the role.

With Canada flying high at the moment, Mounter is certain that increased use of analysis has played its role in the team's success. He said: "This tournament (HWL Semi-Final), the analysis that we have been doing has gone beyond what we've been able to do in the past. Having a second analyst on tour has meant that we have been able to look into much greater detail how we have played and what our future opponents have done during the tournament. The additional work has proven to be a big difference for the guys and the confidence they feel going into each game."

While more and more teams are using video analysis to a greater extent, Mounter sees this as an area that remains largely untapped. "There just aren't enough hours in the day to do what we want to do. We have to strike a balance of what we can achieve and stay functional and what we want to do. As we say in the video tower, there is no such thing as a rest day - they are just long days without games to analyse."

FIH site

Scotland promotion push boosted by Artemis investment

Scotland striker Alan Forsyth, left, and captain Chris Grassick launch Artemis' sponsorship of the national side. Photo Credit: Jeff Holmes

Scotland Senior Men’s preparations for the forthcoming EuroHockey Nations Championship II have been boosted by a cash injection from UK fund manager Artemis Investment Management.

As the new shirt sponsor for the national side, the Edinburgh-based company has invested a five figure sum into supporting the Blue Sticks’ performance programme and promotion push in Prague next month and as Scotland captain Chris Grassick points out, it is a welcome enhancement;

“The Artemis sponsorship has provided the team with a real boost heading into the Europeans as it has allowed us to train together as a group more often and enabled us to concentrate on performance rather than worrying about the financial side of things. We are very grateful for their support”, said the Surbiton midfielder.

“It has been a shorter programme in the build up to Prague compared to what we have been used to in the past but the squad has made big strides forward each time we have been training and playing matches together. We hit form in the recent games against the Czech Republic scoring 24 goals in three matches and we will be looking to continue that heading into the Europeans.”

Chris Grassick believes Scotland's promotion target in their sights. Photo Credit: Jeff Holmes

The Scots travel to Katowice for two matches against Poland next week before the real competition gets underway in the Czech Republic on 19 July, again against the Poles, in Pool A of the Europeans. The group also features Croatia and Ukraine, so the first hurdle to overcome is ensuring results against these nations put Scotland in contention for the semi-finals, before focussing on the potential for promotion.

But as Grassick was keen to emphasise, the top target is reaching the European Championship in 2017, and believes his side has the strength and quality to achieve its goal,

“Promotion is the aim and we definitely have the quality to do it. It will not be easy as the strength and depth of European hockey is improving every year but I really believe we have an exciting team that will not be scared of playing and will be giving it our all to gain promotion.

"We know a decent amount about the other teams in our group and the competition which is really important but the key for us will be how well we can impose our style and play onto the opposition. We have some really talented players in our team who can be very hard to play against, so it is down to us to deliver some top performances when it matters.

Alan Forsyth Chris Grassick. Photo Credit: Jeff Holmes

Derek Forsyth’s side have hit form of late, rattling in 35 goals in six games against Wales and the Czech Republic recently.

It would appear that this squad of players are gelling together when it counts and perhaps that is down to the familiarity among the group,

“Many of our squad have grown up playing hockey together for the last 10 years, so know each other well”, said Grassick. “We all enjoy playing and winning together. Spirits are high and we are really excited about getting started."

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Rani Rampal to captain U-21 Indian team

NEW DELHI: Star striker Rani Rampal will captain the 18-member Indian women's junior hockey team in the Volvo International U-21 tournament beginning in the Netherlands on July 19.

The tournament will see six teams clashing against each other including hosts Netherlands, India, England, New Zealand, Germany and China. The Indian team has been selected on the basis of the preparatory camp which was held in New Delhi.

Guiding the ship will be Rani who has established herself as the lead striker of the senior team. Her crucial goal in the match against Japan during the World League Semi-finals helped India claim 5th position.

Commenting on the upcoming tournament, chief coach Mathias Ahrens said, "This tournament is very important for us as the outcome here will create a base for us for the 7th Women Asia Cup to be played in September. This team has been picked up basis the on field coordination that they have showcased during the preparatory camp and I am confident they will deliver as per strategy. Our first match is against Netherlands and we are aiming for winning start."

The Times of India

India name 18-men junior hockey team for Volvo International

NEW DELHI: India on Friday named an 18-member junior men's hockey team for the six-nation Volvo International U-21 Tournament to be played in the Netherlands from July 18 to 25.

The tournament will be played in round-robin format. Apart from India, other participating nations are hosts the Netherlands, Germany, England, Belgium and New Zealand.

The Volvo International Tournament will provide a testing platform to the U-21 men's team, who are even gearing up for the upcoming Junior Asian Cup in Malaysia and next year's FIH Junior World Cup.

The 18-member squad was selected following a preparatory camp here last month.

The Indian colts will be captained by promising midfielder Harjeet Singh while defender Dipsan Tirkey has been named as the vice-captain. The team will be coached by Harendra Singh.

Most of the selected players have the experience of playing international tournaments and were part of the champion team of last year's Sultan of Johor Cup.

India will open their campaign in the tournament against Germany.

"This is a very energetic and talented team as most have the capability of implementing strategies on the field and experience of playing under tremendous pressure," Indian junior team coach Harendra Singh said.

"The preparatory camp was very fruitful. Most of the players in the squad have international experience and this I think will help in the upcoming tournament."

The Volvo International U-21 tournament will be held in Breda, the Netherlands.


Goalkeepers: Pankaj Kumar Rajak, Suraj Karkera

Defenders: Vikramjit Singh, Dipsan Tirkey, Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Baljit Singh, Anand Lakra

Midfielders: Santa Singh, Manpreet, Nilakanta Sharma, Harjeet Singh, Ajay Yadav

Forwards: Sumit Kumar, Armaan Qureshi, Parvinder Singh, Gurjant Singh, Simranjeet Singh.

The Times of India

HTHC sign up trio of young English players

Harvestehuder THC head into the Euro Hockey League next season with a trio of reinforcements from England with former Under-21 internationals Brendan Creed, George Farrant and David Goodfield all linking up.

They will add to the club’s connections with English players with Richard Dawson-Smith a member of the club’s panel in the last few years. They arrive to replace the like of Johan Björkman and Benjamin Stanzl who will play next season in the Netherlands while Timo Köllen goes to Klipper while Dawson-Smith goes back to England for the coming year. Tobias Brockmann is also moving on.

Speaking about the new players, HTHC president Cito Aufenacker said: "The many departures have accelerated our plans as we continue to invest in the youth and build the team.

“As a result, the young English players fit very well into our concept. We have seen with Richard Dawson-Smith that English players are physically and technically capable stock. We are very happy! "

Creed comes from Sheffield Hallam and won with European Under-21 bronze last year. He played with Goodfield at Sheffield Hallam where they both won several university titles.

George Farrant is two years older than the other two newcomers from England, but has also with all the English underage teams and won Euro gold in 2008 in Seville.

Farrant was part of the Wimbledon side that won the English Championship last season.

Euro Hockey League media release

Terengganu keep foreign signing under wraps.

By Jugjet Singh

MALAYSIA hockey League double champions Terengganu HT have signed the best national players in the country, and are now looking for at least four quality foreign players to defend their title starting Aug 1.

Terengganu HT coach Sarjt Singh, however, is still keeping the foreign signing close to his heart.

"We signed five Koreans last year but they are not available because the MHL clashes with their domestic league. I have approached players from another country and am in the midst of securing their contracts.

"All I can say right now is that they are good players, and will be helpful in defending both our titles," said Sarjit Singh.

Flushed with money, Sarjit has the choice of signing the best local talent as well.

Sarjit said that although they can sign up six foreign players but he would only register four import players to give more playing time to locals

“We have enough quality local players and so, I want to give them more chance to play in the MHL as we cannot be relying on foreign players for ever to win the titles,” said Sarjit.

Terengganu have seven national players - goalkeeper Hafizuddin Othman, defender Azlan Misron, midfielders Shahrun Nabil and Fitri Saari and forwards Faizal Saari, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin and Firhan Ashaari.

All except Fitri featured in the World League Semi-finals in Antwerp, Belgium.

Terengganu HC's three ex internationals are defender Engku Malek, midfielder Jivan Mohan and forward Ismail Abu.

Sarjit said they have also included juniors, who will be playing in Sukma (Malaysia Games) in Sarawak next year.

Last season, Terengganu HC lost the first leg final 2-1 to Kuala Lumpur HC, but romped home 6-1 in the return leg to lay their hands on the League title for the first time after  making their MHL debut in 2013. They also beat KLHC 2-1 in the penalty shoot-out for the Overall title, after a 3-3 regulation time draw.

Only six teams will feature in the Premier League. The teams are double champions Terengganu HC, Tenaga Nasional, Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC), Maybank, Sapura and Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL).

However, there is an increase in both the Division One and Women's League.

There will be 13 teams in Division One, an increase from 11 teams in 2014, and 11 teams in the Women's League, a rise from seven teams last year.  

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Champs Butali Sugar out to reclaim top spot in hockey standings


Maxwell Fuchaka of Butali Sugar Warriors (right) dribbles past Victor Chidi of Western Jaguars on May 3, 2015 during their Kenya Hockey Union Premier League match at City Park Stadium. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO

Eight Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) men’s and women’s premier league matches are on the cards this weekend with a top-of-the-table clash pitting defending champions Butali Sugar Warriors against title hopefuls Strathmore Gladiators expected to set the City Park Stadium alight.

Only one point separates the duo, who currently sit second and third respectively on the league standing.

Butali won their opening five games before their winning streak was brought to an end by Kenya Police who beat them 2-1 in their last league match on May 10 and the lakeside club will be eager to get back to winning ways as they seek to dislodge Police from top of the standing.

They will be up against a Strathmore side that is enjoying a good run, unbeaten in their last five matches. Butali coach Cliffe Okello has warned his team against dropping more points if they have any intentions of retaining the league.

“We have not played in a while and that may affect our tempo but we want to bounce back from the defeat by Police and move forward. Police lost and this has given us an opportunity and we should therefore take it,” Okello told Nation Sport.

For his part, Strathmore coach Meshack Senge described Butali as the “best team in the league in terms of personnel” but said his charges will not show respect as they seek to upset the three times league champions.


Former champions Sikh Union Nairobi will welcome bottom-placed Mombasa Sports Club in Saturday’s last match before taking on Butali on Sunday. Sikh have had an indifferent start to the season losing four out of the seven games played so far and sit ninth, nine points behind league leaders Kenya Police.

“There is room for improvement. We have two massive games this weekend and the lads want to win both games so as we can move up the table,” Sikh captain Amit Rajput said.

In the women’s national league, Sliders will be looking to inflict more pain on bottom placed Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in Saturday’s first match while on Sunday, Vikings will be up against USIU Spartans in a battle between third and fourth in the league.

FIXTURES (All matches at City Park Stadium)


National women: Sliders v JKUAT – 12pm
National men: MKU v Bay – 2pm
Premier men: Strathmore v Butali – 4pm, Sikh Union v MSC


National women: Vikings v UISU-A – 9am
National men: Kimathi v Bay – 11am
Premier men: Sikh Union v Butali – 1pm, Strathmore v MSC – 3pm

Daily Nation

Harbour Women and Central Men win NZ Under-18 title

North Harbour Women celebrate after winning final. Credit: Photosport

North Harbour Women and Central Men are the 2015 National Under-18 Regional champions after winning the final at North Harbour Hockey today.

Hosts North Harbour Women had a convincing 4-1 win against Midlands and Central Men finished the tournament unbeaten, after claiming a 2-1 victory against Midlands.

In the women’s final, the first half was an even affair with both sides having their chances. North Harbour had more shots on goal, but some staunch defence from Midlands ensured it was nil-all at half time.

In the second spell, North Harbour’s Julie Ellis scored a field goal in the 45th minute with teammate Jazmin Wanoa scoring three minutes later. It continued to go North Harbour’s way when Ella Hyatt-Brown knocked it to the back of the net, much to the celebration of the home crowd.

An opportunity for Midlands to get back in the game came when a one-on-one with the goalkeeper resulted in a collision, the umpire awarding a penalty stroke, which Alex Lukin shot to the back of the net.

The vocal Midlands supporters were cheering for a come-back, but North Harbour’s Kayla Reed placed the game beyond doubt when she scored with seven minutes remaining.

“It was pretty full on out there, it was a good battle, Midlands put on a good fight. I think we dominated and pushed through in the second half to get the goals in there,” said Hyatt-Brown, who was awarded the women’s Player of the Tournament.

Hyatt-Brown believes their success can be put down to a great team culture.

“We are all like a group of best mates, there is no clickiness at all in the team and we were all doing everything for each other. The main focus was it was all about the name on the front of the shirt, not the back,” said Hyatt-Brown.

(Credit: Photosport)

Central Men had the dream start in their final against Midlands, with Matt Chard scoring from a penalty corner in the first minute.

Central’s Hayden Phillips, who was awarded the men’s Player of the Tournament, scored his fifth goal of the week in the 18th minute to make it 2-0.

Midlands finally got what they were after, when Jonathan Bloor broke through Central’s defence, knocking home a goal to make it 2-1 at half time.

In the second half, Central held most of the possession and created more opportunities but they couldn’t weave their way through the solid Midlands defence.

In the last five minutes, Midlands gave it everything, switching their goalkeeper for a field player and lobbing balls high into the circle putting the defenders under pressure. But in the end, Central held on to secure the 2-1 win.

"It was a really quick, fast game and Midlands really brought it to us, so it was good to come away undefeated. Anything can happen when it comes to the final day, and once you are playing for trophies and medals, you have to work extra hard, so it’s just really pleasing to have won,” said Phillips.

The bronze medals went to North Harbour Men and Canterbury Women. In the men’s game, North Harbour’s Will Henry scored twice in the first half and although Auckland’s Guy Xavier got his third goal of the tournament in the 61st minute, it was not enough to pull his side to victory. In the women’s game, it was tied 2-2 at half time and it was thanks to a field goal each from Canterbury’s Charlotte Arthur and Emily Wium in the second half, that they clinched the win.

Central Women finished fifth after beating Capital 4-0, while Southern Women finished seventh beating Northland 2-0. Canterbury Men finished fifth after a 4-2 win against Capital and Southern won 4-3 against Northland.


North Harbour 4 (Julie Ellis, Jazmin Wanoa, Ella Hyatt-Brown, Kayla Reed) vs Midlands (Alex Lukin) 1

Canterbury 4 (Millie Calder, Kate Fullen, Charlotte Arthur, Emily Wium) vs Auckland 2 (Rose Tynan x2)

WOMEN’S 5th-6th
Central 4 (Holly Pearson, Megan Phillips, Beth Norman, Cory Campbell) vs Capital 0

WOMEN’S 7th-8th
Southern 2 (Tegan Buchanan, Gemma O’Connell) vs Northland 0

Central 2 (Matt Chard, Hayden Phillips) vs Midlands 1 (Jonathan Bloor)

North Harbour 2 (Will Henry x2) vs Auckland 1 (Guy Xavier)

MEN’S 5th-6th
Canterbury 4 (Lawrence Darling, Silas Dalley x2, Shaun Coles) vs Capital 2 (Zac Caldwell, Tim Kerr)

MEN’S 7th-8th
Southern 4 (Josh Caldwell, Sam Stannard, Haydon McElligott, Tom Jolly) vs Northland 3 (Hamish McKechnie x2, Hadley Greenhalgh)

CLICK HERE for the full results from the National Under-18 Regional and Association Tournaments

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Krishnamurthy Perumal: From umbrella hockey to leading India

By Krishnakanta Chakraborty

When he ignored a national camp to join the Madras team on an exposure trip to Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong in 1967, Krishnamurthy Perumal never thought his gamble would pay off. A few months later, when he was a standby for the national camp and could not travel with the team heading for a Europe trip, he decided to skip the pre-Olympic camp, thinking he wouldn't be selected.

"I was doing well in the domestic tournaments and also had an impressive camp in Jalandhar but I don't know why I was not selected for the tour to Europe. But Mohinderlal Singh suddenly fell sick three days before the team's departure to London, and I got a call from the selectors and made my international debut, in the pre-Olympics," says Krishnamurthy , who represented India from 1967 to 1977. A student of Wesley Higher Secondary School in Royapettah, he played all sports before taking to hockey , inspired by his uncle K Raman (four years his senior). He excelled in school tournaments, broke into the Madras University team, and turned out for Madras Blues, before making the state side.

"It was more of a passion as there was no money for a hockey player those days. Yes, getting a job wasn't that difficult but you wouldn't become rich playing hockey all your life. But I never thought that way since it was a great honour for me to represent India at the international level," says the 74-year-old.

Krishnamurthy says the culture in the city was in stark contrast ity was in stark contrast to what it is now and most households in Royapettah, where Wesley Higher Sec ondary School was situated, produced a player. "It was a different Madras.Every student at Wesley took part in sports and many made it to the Indian sides in various disciplines. We did not have a proper hockey stick and we used to cut a tree branch and make a stick out of it. I even practised with an umbrella handle. School tournaments were big those days and we took the competitions pretty seriously . They had a great fan following. It helped us hone our skills and prepare ourselves for sterner battles," the former India skipper recollects.

Krishnamurthy's exit, however, was unceremonious. He was captaining the national side and was preparing for the 1977 World Cup in Holland when he was dropped.

"It came as a shocker and even today, I don't have any clue why I was dropped from the team before such a big event despite having a great season. I don't want to blame anybody but I think the selectors had a grudge against me and they wanted to teach me a lesson. I would have loved to know the reason behind my omission but alas nobody even conveyed any message to me. I felt humiliated and decided to call it quits," says Krishnamurthy, who later served the Tamil Nadu Hockey Association as an administrator.

(A weekly column on famous sportspersons whose first playing field was Chennai and its neighbourhood)

The Times of India

Hockey Volunteers - Going Dutch in Valencia

Volunteers have been at the core to the smooth, behind-the-scenes organisation of each of the Hockey World League Semi-Final events.

In Valencia, more than 420 people volunteered and helped make it a special event. Most came from near but a few came from far-flung destinations like Mexico, USA and the Netherlands to help out in a variety of roles.

Among them were Dutch duo Joelene and Dewey, both hockey fanatics hailing from the south of the Netherlands who approached the local organising committee to help out as part of their studies in international leisure management.

Joelene said she “wanted to work in Spain and found this event. I was really enthusiastic because I love hockey and organising big events so we contacted the organising committee and they were really interested in having us.”

Her role was to find liaison officers, fellow volunteers who would work with the teams to ensure they had all the necessary information about accommodation, transport and training requests.

The main challenge was to get people with the required language skills for an event featuring 10 nations.                  

“It was important to find suitable liaisons, to find people with the languages – a German speaker with the German team, a Chinese speaker with the Chinese team – to make it easier for everyone. But, it all worked out.”

Along with Dewey, Joelene had previously volunteered at one-day music events in the Netherlands but said that the organisation of this event was huge.

“You work two and a half weeks non-stop rather than just turn up on the day!”

Dewey worked in the ticketing office and said that, unlike Joelene whose main work was in the build-up to the event, when the action started, life got incredibly busy but she hopes that the tournament achieved its objectives.

“Hockey in the Netherlands is so big while here it is quite small. It’s different but not less fun.”

One of the goals of the event is to increase awareness of hockey in Spain and in Valencia, so we had special packages for people from the city. A lot of schools were invited and they could get free tickets. Hopefully, we were able to help build the sport.”

She says that people in Valencia were really keen to get involved.

“Everyone is really friendly; we had a little party at the start to get together. There are a lot of volunteers, really enthusiastic and it works really well.”

“Even if they don’t know the game, they want to learn, to see it and to try it. I think this event is really helping to increase interest in hockey.”

And the big attraction for the pair proved to be the Spanish lifestyle as temperatures soared up to 30 degrees.

“Of course, how could you not love it? The weather, the sun, the atmosphere, the people – it’s all so nice!”

FIH site

Philip Kimberley receives The Emeritus Award

Philip Kimberley receives The Emeritus Award from Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex

The Community Sport and Recreation Awards have been running for over 20 years, showcasing sport and recreation organisations performing excellent work in their local communities.

The Emeritus Award has been in existence for ten years and is awarded for life-long or sustained service to sport and recreation or for long service to the Alliance. Last year the award was presented to Professor Peter Thomas MBE and other recipients have included Rosemary Napp, Dame Diana Ellis and Brian Hyde. This year the Emeritus Awards are presented to three recipients: Allan Dean-Lewis MBE, Hilary Weedon and Philip Kimberley.

Philip is currently Chairman of England Hockey and will stand down later this year after 12 years in the post.
As Chairman of England Hockey, Philip led a complete rebuild of the governing body from a position of bankruptcy when he arrived in 2003, to become one of the fastest growing team sports in England and celebrating its first Olympic medal in 20 years at the London 2012 Olympics.

Philip came late to sports administration after a successful business career, yet his achievements have seen him appointed to the UK Sport Board, WADA, Sports Coach UK and more recently the TDF Board. His ambition has never been personal reward and has always been about doing the right thing by sport. His role in leading the resurgence of England Hockey, a governing body that was close to being disaffiliated from its world federation in 2002, should not be underestimated and has culminated in England Hockey being recognized as an effective governing body by both Sport England and UK Sport. In addition, during Philip’s tenure, England Hockey has also been awarded the Pablo Negre award for contribution to hockey in 2008 by the International Hockey Federation.

A naturally quiet and shy man he has earned respect both within the sport worldwide as well as across the wider sporting landscape in the UK. He has never been afraid of conflict in his endeavours to do the right thing by the sport and his integrity has led the sport into a new era of professionalism.

All at England Hockey would like to extend their congratulations to Philip for his outstanding achievement.

England Hockey Board Media release

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