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News for 10 September 2016

All the news for Saturday 10 September 2016

Wales and Portugal claim victories on Day 3

Photo: Scottish Hockey

On day three of the men’s Hockey World League Round 1 event in Glasgow (SCO), Wales claimed their second win of the competition while Portugal were also victorious. Wales overcame strong resistance from Switzerland to move level on points with Scotland at the top of the pool standings, while Portugal’s triumph over Slovakia gave them their first points at the event.

Wales versus Switzerland was always going to be a tense game and the first half was about as tight as a game could be. Wales enjoyed the majority of possession but neither side was able to fashion anything close to an opportunity. Rupert Shipperley was the stand out player for Wales. On a couple of occasions he was able to progress into the Swiss D showing great ball control, but the Swiss defence was able to snuff out the danger on both occasions.

The opening goal came from nowhere. Switzerland’s Jan Hödle won the ball in the Welsh D and fired into the net on 31 minutes to make it 1-0.

The goal sparked the game into life and Wales charged forward on the offensive. They were rewarded on the stroke of half time with an equaliser from Gareth Furlong, who scored from a penalty corner routine to make it 1-1.

Wales got the second have off to a flyer by scoring early, with Luke Hawker netting from close range, much to the elation of the fans the stand, to give his side a 2-1 lead.

Switzerland’s Nick Schwehr was denied from a penalty corner by a fantastic acrobatic save by David Kettle in the Welsh goal. A fantastic save from Switzerland goalkeeper Michael Käufeler kept his side within touching distance on 55 minutes. A late rally from Switzerland was defended well by the Welsh who claimed the points and put themselves in a strong position to achieve qualification for Round 2 of the Hockey World League.

Portugal versus Slovakia turned out to be one of the games of the tournament. Slovakia opened the scoring in the tenth minute of the match through Matej Hruska. His great strike into the roof of the net got the game off to a fantastic start, but Portugal struck back instantly when Luis Tavares levelled the scores.

Portugal took the lead following a penalty corner. Two efforts were saved by Marek Petras before Ivo Moreira flicked Portugal’s second goal into the net to make it 2-1.

The game swung from end-to-end, with Slovakia equalising from a penalty corner routine that was finished off by Daniel Petras. Slovakia then took the lead for a second time in the match when Captain Thomas Romanec finished off a penalty corner to make it 3-2.

The second half began with a more tactical edge as both sides cancelled each other out. That was until Portugal equalised through Ricardo Teixeira, who finished off a fleeting move down the right to take the score-line to 3-3.

Portugal took control of the game as Slovakia began to tire. Vasco Ribeiro gave Portugal the lead for a second time when he tapped in a hard pass from the left side of the D. Portugal put the game to bed as full time approached when Joaquin Leonel Coelho scored their fifth when he glanced the ball into the net, completing the match scoring at 5-3.

Away from the field, the Scotland team have taken over FIH’s Instagram and Snapchat accounts for a while, so be sure to check out their posts from behind the scenes in Glasgow!

Report provided by Scottish Hockey

FIH site

Cocky Kenya face Nigeria in World League One Series


Kenya's player Winnie Odongo controls the ball during a team training session at City Park Stadium last on September 3, 2016. Kenya play Nigeria in a World League One Series match in Accra, Ghana on September 10. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kenya women’s hockey team will be out to avenge last year’s loss to Nigeria when the two sides clash Saturday evening in the World League One Series at the Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium in Accra, Ghana.

The women’s team, which left the country Friday morning, will take to the pitch at 6.15pm Kenyan time on the second day of three-day competition.

The men’s team were due to play Nigeria Friday night on the opening day of the competition which has attracted four men’s and three women's’ team.

The winners in both categories will advance to the second round of the competition set for February 2017 with tickets for the 2018 Hockey World Cup up for grabs.

The Kenyan ladies lost 3-1 to Nigeria in last year’s Africa Cup of Nations-cum-Olympic qualifier held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Head coach Nixon Nyangaga, who replaced Jos Openda last month, is relishing the battle against the west Africans.

“We have forgotten about last year’s loss, this is another tournament. We have prepared well,” a confident Nyangaga said.


Nyangaga’s squad of 18 players has two debutantes - Sliders defender Ndombela Sikwata and Amira Sailors keeper Rachel Kerubo. The tactician surprised many by excluding versatile midfielder Lorraine Nondi from his squad but remains confident that he has the best players for the job.

“It was a tough selection process and we could not take everyone. We have a mixture of both youth and experience in this squad and I’m confident they will make the country proud,” the tactician added. Strathmore’s Doreen Hongo, who is making a return to the side after missing last year’s continental event, will captain the side.

Telkom Orange keeper Cynthia Onyango is expected to start in goal while Nyangaga could hand Gilly Okumu a start in attack. The squad has 10 players who took part in last year’s Africa Cup of Nations where Kenya won bronze after finishing on 10 points.

Evergreen Terry Juma, who scored in the 3-1 loss to Nigeria, will start in defence alongside Sikwatta or Strathmore’s Elizabeth Ngombo.

Kenya will take on hosts Ghana in their final match on Sunday on the final day of the competition. Other matches set for Saturday will see the Kenyan men play Ghana while Nigeria tackle Namibia.

Elsewhere, the Kenya Hockey Union league resumes this weekend with seven matches lined up. Six second tier men’s league matches will be played on Saturday and Sunday while one women’s premier league tie will take place Sunday.

Daily Nation

A Hockey fest in store for fans


V R Raghunath whom every team fears in Penalty Corners in the competition

The destination of the handsome Murugappa Gold Cup will be determined tomorrow at the final of the MCC-Murugappa hockey invitation tournament at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium before a big holiday crowd.

The run-up so far in the league stage provided a slew of interesting contests marked by the presence of a handful of Olympians who donned the India colors at the Rio Games last month.

At the moment of writing, there are four aspirants for this year’s trophy including the defending champion Indian Oil Corporation (IOC).

Whether a new name will be etched from among the other three, Bharat Petroleum (BPCL), Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) and Indian Railways, the National Champion, on the trophy is a question that cannot be easily answered.

Every one of the semi-finalists displayed shades of brilliance good enough to corner the trophy.

IOC left no one in doubt that another trophy triumph for it is well within the realms of possibility. Easily the most balanced side rich in experience and expertise, a win tomorrow will cause no surprise.

If one man carries the entire strength on his shoulders it is the Olympian full back V.R.Raghunath. A brace of penalty corners can decide the encounter in favor of IOC thanks to the irrepressible form of this penalty corner striker.

In more than one game he proved his worth-the four goals he scored against Air India stands testimony to this. The two other veterans who have figured prominently are the skipper Deepak Thakur and the consistent scorer Prabjhot Singh.

The real challenge for IOC’s supremacy can come from this time from Indian Railways. Despite a shock defeat against the Punjab and Sind Bank, Railways recovered remarkably to sail through and take the top place in Pool B.

The performances of Affan Yousuf and Talwinder Singh stood the team in good stead to securing huge victories that included a 7-2 win against ONGC, which eventually made it to the last four with a superb win against the Army XI netting the match winner in the final minute. 

Diwakar Ram has been the consistent performer for ONGC in penalty corners, though the team has to thank Binoy Bhengra for its win against the Army XI in the key match.

If reputation is the yardstick then BPCL has it in an appreciable measure. It missed the top spot in Pool A owing to the goal aggregate of the IOC. Veteran Tushar Khandekar has shown that he had not lost his thirst and proficiency go net goals when it mattered most as he did against IOC in the crucial game of the pool. The match ended 1-1.

IOC will take on ONGC in the first semi-final today (Saturday) while Indian Railways and BPCL lock horns in the other.

It is needless to say that a hockey feast awaits the followers this weekend.


Youngsters give the tournament a fresh lease of life

IOC, ONGC, BPCL and Indian Railways vie for a spot in the final

K. Keerthivasan

The participation of seven Rio Olympians in the 90th All-India MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament has given a fresh lease of life, infused energy and enthusiasm into the proceedings.

Especially at a time when domestic hockey across the country is struggling to find sponsors and lure spectators to the Stadium.

The Hockey India’s decision not to release the top players from the camp in the build-up to Rio for the 89th edition of the event here didn’t go down well with a few former Olympians who criticised HI’s policy.

With the Olympics over, the stars have assembled and the biggest beneficiaries have been the youngsters who are playing alongside and against the stars.

As Mohd. Riaz, expert coach of the Tamil Nadu team observed the other day: “It was a sight to see a young Veera Thamizhan (TN) dribble past International Raghunath (IOC). That made my day.”

At the end of group matches, it is not the team with big names that has made everyone take notice, but a team that has trained together for a reasonable period of time.

Impressive performance

Indian Railways has really stood out with an impressive performance in a tough group that had Army XI, Punjab & Sind Bank and ONGC.

First, it defeated Army XI in an emphatic manner. After the loss to Punjab & Sind Bank, Railways regrouped quickly to beat Karnataka (8-2) and ONGC (7-2) by huge margins. The architects of the wins have been forwards Talwinder Singh and Affan Yousuf backed by a relatively solid defence. Of the three penalty corner specialists in the team, Amit Rohidas has stood out.

R. Suresh Babu, an astute Indian Railways coach, will know that the performance in the group will count for nothing when it takes on BPCL in the semifinals on Saturday.

Under the guidance of coach Sandeep Sangwan, who has worked with Roelant Oltmans (head coach of Indian men’s team), ONGC has managed to stay afloat. In a must-win match against Army XI, it pulled off a victory at the last second off a penalty corner.

The team will rely on Diwaker Ram to provide breakthroughs in penalty corners. Most important, its forwards will have to take their chances.

Against defending champion Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) in a last four clash, ONGC will have to ensure that it doesn’t concede too many penalty corners and give Raghunath an advantage, as Sangwan noted the other day.

Tushar Khandekar of BPCL, in his role as a forward, has done well in providing vital assists, too. He has used his rich experience of working with the various foreign coaches of the Indian team, wisely. Against an in-form Railways, his vision and skills will prove to be crucial.

The Hindu

U18 hockey: Oman to tour Pakistan for four matches

By Nabil Tahir

KARACHI: Oman’s U18 hockey team will be visiting Pakistan for a test series against the country’s junior side in preparation for the fourth edition of the Boys U18 Asia Cup to be held in Dhaka, Bangladesh from September 24-30.

The visiting team will be reaching Lahore on September 15 where they will play four matches against the hosts at the National Hockey Stadium in Lahore.

Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Shahbaz Senior told The Express Tribune that the management’s efforts to invite the team to Pakistan bore fruit. “It will be after a long time that Pakistani fans will be able to witness an international hockey match in the country,” said Shahbaz.

He added, “Hosting matches like these will also attract many potential players to this game, which is also part of the campaign ‘revival of lost glory’.”

The hockey great further said that the two sides will play their first match on September 16, with the last match scheduled for September 20. There will be a one-day break on September 18.

“The first and third matches will be played in daylight beginning at 4:30pm, while the second and fourth will be played under floodlights at 8pm,” said the official.

In the upcoming Asia Cup, Oman are placed in Pool A along with India and hosts Bangladesh, while in Pool B Pakistan will be up against China, Chinese-Taipei and Hong Kong.

The Express Tribune

Oman U-18 hockey to visit Pakistan from Sept 15 

ISLAMABAD: International hockey returns to Pakistan as Oman Under-18 team will be visiting Pakistan from September 15 to play a four-match series against Pakistan Under-18.

“It is good to see that a foreign team, no matter a junior string, is visiting Pakistan after a long gap and we welcome the resumption of international hockey to Pakistan,” said a spokesman for the Pakistan Hockey Federation on Friday. He said the four-match series would be played at National Hockey Stadium in Lahore and big gathering is expected to watch the game.

“The PHF is taking every measure to ensure the return of international hockey to Pakistan and we are confident that the visit of the Oman junior team will pave the way for other teams to visit Pakistan in due course of time,” he added.

He said two matches would be played under lights while the remaining two would be day matches.

The first contest will be played on September 16 at 4.30 pm, 2nd on September 17 at 8:00 pm, 3rd on September 19 at 4:30 pm and the 4th on September 20 at 8:00 pm.

“We are in process of finalizing the arrangements to hold the series in a befitting manner,” he added. The two teams are in the final phase of preparation for the 4th Boys Under-18 Asia Cup in Dhaka, Bangladesh scheduled from September 24-30.

The Daily Times

Turf teen finds traction

By Anendra Singh

Sam Hiha is in the mix for the national U21 hockey team to play at the Junior World Cup in India in December. Photo / Duncan Brown

It's easy to mistake Sam Hiha for a late bloomer in hockey but the reality is he consciously chose to delay his switch to turfdom after exhausting his first passion.

The 19-year-old Central Mavericks player will tell you the country's official game took his fancy more during the primary and intermediate school years, which saw the utility back play Ross Shield rugby and make Hawke's Bay age-group teams along the way.

So why the change to hockey in his first year at Napier Boys' High School?

"I was just too small. Everyone grew and I didn't so I just gave up rugby in year 9," says Hiha, with a laugh.

But the meteoric rise in hockey for the first-year Auckland University engineering student is no laughing matter.

The midfielder is the youngest member of the undefeated Mavericks during their Ford National Hockey League (NHL) campaign as they prepare for the remaining four rounds and playoffs to be staged over a week in Whangarei from tomorrow.

The Brad Jensen and Greg Nicol-coached side are on the top rung of the table, albeit after just two matches, with a 4-1 victory over Midlands and a 3-2 shootout win over Capital after they were locked 2-all in regulation time.

The Mavericks play Canterbury and North Harbour tomorrow and Sunday before crossing sticks with hosts Northland on Tuesday and Auckland on Friday next week.

Other Bay players in the Mavericks equation are Brennan Alexander-Parker, goalkeeper Aaron Ball, Robert Creffier, Oscar Stewart, Dylan Thomas and Joe Hanks, who also slips on the captain's armband.

However, for Hiha, the end of the NHL holds the promise of his first foray overseas if he makes the cut for the Sultan of Johor Cup next month as part of the 24-member New Zealand under-21 squad. That group will be culled to 18 for the Junior World Cup to be staged in India from December 8 to 18.

"India will be a bit of a change from what I'm used to," he says. He competed on the Gold Coast as a member of the NZ under-19s early this year as his only overseas stint.

Former Black Sticks player and men's assistant coach Bryce Collins is the Junior World Cup coach.

Hiha isn't taking anything for granted in what he deems to be "a pretty strong team" but he finds comfort in the assumption that "all spots are up for grabs".

His national selection for the junior worlds came after the Central age-group campaign at the national under-21 tournament in Dunedin in May, when they finished fifth.

"We had a pretty poor opening weekend, losing both games, so we were having to catch up on lost points."

The Mavericks, he feels, are coming together nicely with everyone on the same page.

The teenager, who played for NBHS rather than a Bay club, then helped the Roskill Eden Hockey Club in Auckland win its competition last month, is the grandson of the legendary Margaret Hiha, of Napier.

"She was always keen on me to play hockey and she made sure all the kids played it when we were small," says Hiha, whose sister, Savanna, 17, of William Colenso College, played age-group rep and school hockey. So did brother Matthew, 16, of Te Aute College, who fancies himself as a basketballer.

"I guess it's just in our blood," he says. Hiha believes that, while it's "natural", he has had to put in a lot of hard work.

Numerous coaches had paved the path to his incremental gains but Nicol and former Mavericks coach Dean Hulls have been at the forefront.

Hiha was partial to playing striker but, as his skills evolved, he found himself gravitating toward the engine room.

"I found out I can have a bigger influence in the midfield - setting up goals is just as good as scoring.

"My skill set is more suited to ball distribution than striking," he says, while stressing there's nothing stopping him finding the net from the midfield.

He is honing his skills in trapping the ball on the top of the D from penalty corners to enable those at the coalface to slot them past the keeper.

"It's a high work rate and, no matter what, I'll keep running all day."

He is relishing Central's up-tempo approach to keep defenders on their toes in what he describes as "an exciting brand" of game.

If everything follows his script, Hiha is keen to represent the country at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics although playing professionally is not in the immediate future because he intends to complete his tertiary education first.

He has done admirably to juggle academia with hockey demands and doesn't foresee any deviations from that.

Hawkes Bay Today

Marist organises memorial tourney

THE Geotech Marist Hockey Club will host the Eastgate Memorial Hockey Tournament in the next fortnight to pay tribute to two of Fiji's most influential people who had immense contribution to hockey.

The tournament is to pay tribute to Harry Apted and Sydney Eastgate

Every year since 1995, the Marist men's and women's hockey clubs of Suva organise the tournament.

The club, in a statement sent this week, said their teachings were instilled to all their current players. Their legacy continues to live through their descendants, Chad Eastgate and also Aiden and Alexander the grandsons of Apted who will be taking part in the upcoming tournament to honour their late father and grandfather.

This year marks the 22nd anniversary of the Marist Eastgate Memorial Hockey Tournament which is scheduled to start on Friday, September 23 and finishes on Sunday, September 25 at the National Hockey Centre at Laucala Bay, Suva.

Since its inception, the tournament has been a highlight on the Fiji Hockey Federation calendar.

"To celebrate our 22nd anniversary, an overseas team from New Zealand has confirmed their participation at the tournament this year. Approximately 14-16 teams participate annually and with spectator support, it means participation at multiple levels. Additionally, the tournament may be covered by a surprise media guest from New Zealand," the club said in the statement.

The Fiji Times

No. 2 Duke fends off No. 11 Virginia 3-2

Duke Athletics

Duke allowed an early goal but rallied to stay undefeated this season. Duke Athletics

DURHAM, N.C. – After surrendering a goal in the early minutes, second-ranked Duke rallied to top No. 11 Virginia, 3-2, Friday evening in the teams’ ACC opener at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. The Blue Devils defeated their fourth consecutive ranked opponent to move to 5-0 on the season.

Head coach Pam Bustin’s squad generated 20 shots and a season-high 10 penalty corner opportunities while limiting a potent Virginia attack to just eight shots on the night.

“We expect anything from the competition as we get into the conference — it’s really tight and really strong,” Bustin said. “You just have to stay in the game. You’ve got 70 minutes to play so not to judge it one way or the other — whether we’re up by a goal or we’re down by a goal but just to stay on with the game plan and stay on task. The team really did that tonight.”

The Cavaliers’ Lucy Hyams broke open the scoring in the ninth minute, putting back a rebound off a corner play. Virginia (2-3, 0-1 ACC) continued to threaten on its attacking end before junior forward Ashley Kristen notched the equalizer on a Duke corner play. Freshman midfielder Margaux Paolino picked up her team-leading seventh assist of the season, and the 1-1 tie would carry into halftime.

The Blue Devils led in shots, 12-4, at the break and totaled eight first-half corners.

“When we think attack sometimes, we just think about the front half of the field but we want to attack from the back all the way forward,” Bustin said. “Virginia put some great pressure on our backfield today, and I thought the team did a great job attacking out of the back. That set the tone and kept everybody involved for the attack all the way down at the other end of the field.”

Virginia caught Duke’s defense slightly out of position early in the second half, but an Alexa Mackintire defensive save kept the match at 1-1. The Cavaliers’ Dominique van Slooten made a similar play on the other end but the Blue Devils used another set piece to take the lead at the 45:13 mark. Junior back Alyssa Chillano fired her fifth goal of the season while Ainsley Gill and Paolino provided the assists.

Penalty corner opportunities continued to be the difference, with Duke adding a third tally in the 49th minute when junior Stephanie Pezzuti tapped in a shot at the back post off of a rebound. Pezzuti made good on the Blue Devils’ fourth shot of the series following three saves by Virginia goalkeeper Carrera Lucas.

The Cavaliers countered on a penalty corner play just minutes later, narrowing the score to 3-2 on the Tara Vittese goal. Behind the play of goalkeeper Sammi Steele, Duke was able to keep Virginia off the board for the final 20 minutes to help the squad kick off ACC play 1-0.

“Today was just a really good team win,” said junior back Sarah Furey. “Sammi Steele played a great game and really kept them out their two key players … You get down to the wire, those last five minutes, you do everything you can to keep the ball out of the net. I think we were just doing it for each other. Everyone had some plays and hustle so it was great.”

Steele finished with two stops to a career-high 10 by Lucas, and freshman back Jillian Wolgemuth joined Mackintire in recording defensive saves.


Field hockey to host free youth clinic Sept. 11

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State field hockey is set to host a free youth clinic Sunday, Sept. 11, following their game with Lock Haven at Field Hockey Complex. The clinic is designed to help develop youth field hockey in Central Pennsylvania.

Led by head coach Charlene Morett-Curtiss, her staff and members of the Nittany Lion team, the free post-game clinic is open to kids age 12 and under and is set to begin shortly after the conclusion of the Penn State-Lock Haven game on Sunday afternoon.

Participants will need a signed clinic medical release form and are strongly encouraged to bring their own field hockey stick, but the first 50 children who register on site on Sunday will receive a free stick, from Penn State Field Hockey. Kids and parents are encouraged to complete the medical registration form before arriving at the game on Sunday so as to expedite the process of registration. Participants without a medial release form will not be permitted to participate.

Penn State News

Danson hails Danny Kerry as "the best tactician in the world".

Alex Danson celebrates scoring in Rio

“I can’t believe it. It hasn’t sunk in at all. It feels like a dream. I haven’t got used to it but it was the most incredible experience and the best team effort I’ve been involved in and to get a gold medal at the end of it is something else.” 

Alex Danson’s eyes light up as she glances down at the Olympic Gold medal hanging round her neck. For a player with over 250 international appearances to her name to describe something as the “best ever” you know it’s pretty special.

Of course Danson collected a bronze medal at the London Olympics in 2012, a memory she describes as “something truly amazing” however there was a determination about the group that went to Rio. The blend of young, hungry players and experienced heads married perfectly to deliver a gold medal for Great Britain. 

“We got to Rio and we were so close as a group. We knew what we wanted to achieve and we just took it game by game, built that momentum and that belief. Once we got the final it was a case of one game to go. One more job to do. When that whistle went and it went to shootout we knew we were ready to the do business. It came off for us and I still can’t quite believe it.” says Danson.  

The striker talks of being surrounded by “unbelievable people” throughout her career. One of those people who has been almost a constant is Danny Kerry, the Head Coach. Danson, who finished the Olympics as joint top scorer for the second time in succession paid tribute to the coach saying:

“Danny is the best tactician in the world. He knows exactly how we need to play to beat every team and he knows exactly how to get the squad to implement those tactics. We as a squad respond to him because there is complete trust in what he says. He works so well with the rest of the staff and gives us a game plan. He always gets us where we need to be and for me, there’s no one better.”

Kerry is of course famed for his poker face during matches. Cameras often pan to the Coach in the stand but it is rare that he gives anything away. Even he found it very difficult to mask the joy at the triumph in an Olympic final, however:

“He was so happy like we all were.” smiles Danson.  “He was cheering and running around, all the staff were. Once they got on the field it was a great feeling to be all together. It was the Olympic final; we’d just won but it was like no one else was there. Only those people know what we’ve done, how hard we’ve worked and what it took to get there. It was special to be all together in that moment.”

The legacy of the gold medal was in full effect almost immediately. Danson and her teammates were met off the plane by a cluster of fans, stopping and signing autographs and posing for photos as seemingly everyone wanted to congratulate their heroes. 

“Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that would happen. To be met off the plane by so many hockey fans was incredible. We want to inspire the future and get more people playing. Hopefully we can do that and hopefully people see how special team sports can be. It’s a truly exciting time for us and our sport.”

A truly exciting time indeed. Just the small matter of the Women’s World Cup in 2018 for Alex to add to her gold collection, then.....

England Hockey Board Media release

FIH initiative challenges barriers to coaching

Academy leads way in female coaching roles

Women in top level sports coaching roles are still in a minority but FIH is one of the international sports bodies leading the way in redressing the balance. 

At the FIH Academy that ran alongside the Hockey Champions Trophy in London in June, of the 64 participants, 19 were women. André Oliveira, sports coordinator at FIH, credits the FIH Women in Elite Coaching Initiative with this relatively high percentage of female participants.

“This initiative is helping FIH to bring women coaches into the spotlight so that more can follow their example”, André says. 

The FIH push for more females in top roles goes back to March this year when it launched its Pledge for Parity campaign. The project’s long-term aim is to increase the number of females coaching within the top 12 nations. This is a key part of the FIH's 10 year-year strategy - the Hockey Revolution, of which one key area of focus is to increase the degree of professionalism throughout all areas of the sport. 

At the recent Rio Olympic Games, keen observers will have spotted just three women among the coaches on the benches. Alyson Annan is head coach to the silver medal winning Netherlands; Karen Brown is one of the assistant coaches to the gold medal winning Great Britain side and Janneke Schopman is assistant coach to Team USA, who finished fifth. 

But if that trio looks a depressingly small group, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the glass ceiling soon shattering.  

The female coaches we spoke to in London are all heavily involved in coaching and are hugely enthusiastic and passionate about reaching the very top of the coaching tree. One of the reasons that is always given for women not reaching the top is a commitment to other things – family being the main distraction. Alyson Annan, who has two young children, is the perfect example of someone managing to be a mother and a high performance coach. 

Jen Wilson, former South African player and Olympian, is head coach at Sevenoaks Hockey Club in Kent, England and is also assistant coach to the Scottish women’s team based at the other end of the UK. A seemingly difficult dual role is just worked out logically – with Wilson fitting her international duties around her domestic ones. 

From talking to the female coaches, it seems that many of the arguments or reasons given for a lack of females at the top of the coaching tree can soon be dismissed in the face of determination and will. 

One major reason used to explain the lack of female coaches is the dearth in role models. This is the very issue that Women in Elite Coaching will deal with rapidly. Two of Argentina’s Las Leonas – Jorgelina Rimoldi and Laura Del Colle – were in London on the FIH Academy High Performance Coaching courses. Both are Olympians and both are actively coaching across a range of abilities. The Pan American Hockey Federation paid for the two coaches to attend the course, the payback is that they will continue coaching, not just in Argentina, but across neighbouring Pan-Am countries. 

Jorgelina is heavily involved in hockey development through her work at San Fernando Hockey club, where she coaches several teams, as well as her work as a development officer with the national hockey federation. Laura, who lectures at Rosario University, coaches her students, shows school teachers how to coach hockey and is running a goalkeeping academy. Both women have also coached in developing hockey nations such as Guatemala and Peru, and will continue to do so. 

While they might not yet be featuring on the bench at the major events, there is no mistaking that sound… one of shattering glass!

FIH site

Hockey NZ appoint head of community, events

Hockey New Zealand is delighted to announce the appointment of Ken Maplesden as General Manager of Community Hockey and Events.

General Manager, Community Hockey and Events is an important leadership role which shapes the development of the sport from grass roots level and up.

The appointment follows the escalation of former general manager Ian Francis, who now holds the role of Hockey NZ chief executive.

Ken has 10 years of experience working in the sport and recreation sector and most recently operated as Sport and Recreation Strategic Partnerships Advisor for Auckland Council.

During his time at Auckland Council he worked closely with hockey stakeholders on the development and implementation of an Auckland regional facility strategy and playing a lead role for council in the ongoing work on the National Hockey Centre.

He also comes from a hockey background and was a member of the 2006 and 2007 Auckland Men’s Ford National Hockey League team.

Ken is still actively involved at senior club level as a player and coach and passionately believes in the value of club sport to local communities and the positive influence it can have on lives.

Key objectives of the role include supporting hockey in New Zealand to build its participation base, regional and local capability and to deliver exceptional events.

Hockey NZ chief executive Ian Francis said it was brilliant to have appointed such a highly skilled candidate into the role.

“It’s outstanding to have Ken joining the team and we look forward to him driving a world class community and events space,” he said.

“Ken joins a strong team at Hockey New Zealand as we look to achieve our 2020 vision of being the world’s best hockey nation.”

Ken will begin his role as General Manager, Community Hockey and Events in early October.

Hockey New Zealand Media release

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