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News for 24 May 2019

All the news for Friday 24 May 2019

2019 FIH Pro League (Women) - Weekend fixture

25 May 2019 16:00 (GMT +8)     CHN v BEL (RR)     Wujin Hockey Stadium, Changzhou

Live streaming and full game replay on https://fih.live (Geo blocked if there is TV coverage)

FIH Match Centre

South Africa take on Namibia in three match test series

All hockey loving eyes will divert to Randburg Astro turf tonight and this weekend as Supergroup South Africa’s Women’s Hockey team take on Namibia in a three match test series. The series marks a lot of significant firsts for South Africa. It will be the first test match as head coach for Robin van Ginkel, the first test match for Erin Hunter and Phumelela Mbande as captain and vice-captain respectively and it also offers Bianca Woods, Hannah Pearce, Robyn Johnson and Nikki Veto their first caps for the national team.

The test series offers van Ginkel and his coaching staff a valuable opportunity to try out a few combinations ahead of the FIH Open Series Final in Valencia, it also offers the team an opportunity to give the South African hockey public a rare glimpse of national hockey on home soil.

Their opponents will be far from a pushover having qualified for the Valencia showpiece themselves in a tough tournament in Zimbabwe recently. They also have a host of players who shone in South African Club hockey including Petro Stoffberg and Gillian Hermanus, while Maggie Mengo will be influential alongside Jerrica Bartlett (Cormack). With both sides using the series as preparation for Spain, you can bet that it will be anything other than a boring friendly.

“This series could not come at a better time, its our first home test since World League in 2017. We love playing in front of our South African fans. We have some exciting new caps coming in and offers a few players and opportunity to get back into the fold. Its an important series towards our preparation for Spain. Its also been great for team cohesion off the field and there is a great bond in the team. We can wait to play this series and make South Africa proud!” shared Phumelela Mbande.

Supergroup South Africa will leave for Spain on the 13 June and will take on Wales, Italy and Thailand in Pool B. The goal for the tournament will be to finish in the top 2 to keep Olympic Qualification opportunities alive.

South Africa vs. Namibia Test Series Fixtures

24 May 2019 – 19:00
25 May 2019 – 11:15
25 May 2019 – 19:00

Supergroup South Africa Squad

Tegan Fourie, Celia Evans, Izelle Verster, Marizen Marais, Kristen Paton, Robyn Johnson, Kara Botes, Dirkie Chamberlain, Lisa Deetlefs, Nikki Veto, Erin Hunter (c), Hannah Pearce, Lilian du Plessis, Phumelela Mbande (GK)(VC), Quanita Bobbs, Tarryn Glasby, Bianca Wood and Mmatshepo Modipane.

Gill Doig (Team Manager), Robin van Ginkel (Head Coach), Inky Zondi (Assistant Coach), Cindy Nel (Physio), Taren Naidoo (Trainer) and Wayne Hendricks (Video Analyst).

All games take place at Randburg Astro and entry is R10.

SA Hockey Association media release

Scotland men to face France in Le Touquet this weekend

Scotland men travel to Le Touquet this weekend for two matches against France as the Scots build towards the Hockey Series Finals in June. The matches will be played at 6pm on Friday 24 May and at 6pm on Saturday 25 May.

The Blue Sticks will return to Le Touquet for the tournament on 15-23 June where they will play in a Pool against Ireland; Singapore; and Egypt before the final stages of the tournament.

The contests against France follow a solid two-match series against Poland where the Scots won the opening game 2-1, and lost the second 1-0.

Later this summer in August Scotland will compete at the Belfius EuroHockey Championships against Germany; Ireland; and the Netherlands in the Pool.

Tommy Alexander; Russell Anderson; Michael Bremner; Gavin Byers; and Craig Falconer join the squad for the matches in France as preparations continue to build ahead of a massive summer of competition for Scotland.

Name, Club
Tommy Alexander, UHC Hamburg
Russell Anderson, Brooklands
Tim Atkins, Surbiton
Michael Bremner, UHC Hamburg
Andy Bull, Royal Beerschot
Gavin Byres, UHC Hamburg
Murray Collins , Loughborough
Callum Duke , Hillhead
Craig Falconer, Reading
David Forrester, Montrouge
Rob Harwood, Western Wildcats
Lee Morton, Old Georgians
Andrew McConnell, Western Wildcats
Joe McConnell, Western Wildcats
Callum MacKenzie, Cardiff Met
Aidan McQuade, Grove Menzieshill
Nick Parke, Surbiton
Robbie Shepherdson, Grange

Scottish Hockey Union media release

S. Korea scraps joint Olympic hockey team with North

The IOC has stipulated that, in team sports, any joint team Tokyo entries must have qualified as a single unit. That means a joint women's team needed to enter the FIH Women's Hockey Series Finals in Ireland from June 8 to 16. With the North not responding, the South decided to enter alone.

South Korea is dropping its plan for a joint women's field hockey team with the North at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, officials said on Thursday, after Pyongyang failed to co-operate.

Sporting ties triggered a rapid diplomatic thaw in and around the peninsula last year, but are stagnating with the wider process over the North's nuclear arsenal deadlocked.

The two Koreas formed their first-ever unified Olympic team — a joint women's ice hockey squad — for the 2018 Winter Games in the South, where the team proved a media sensation despite losing all five matches by a combined scoreline of 28-2.

The two Koreas then formed several joint teams for the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia and in February agreed to send unified basketball, judo, field hockey and rowing squads to Tokyo.

But just weeks later a summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump collapsed in disagreement over sanctions relief and what Pyongyang would be willing to give up in return.

That left North-South relations in limbo, with Pyongyang not responding to offers of talks or implementing previous agreements.

The International Olympic Committee has stipulated that, in team sports, any joint team Tokyo entries must have qualified as a single unit.

That means a joint women's team needed to enter the IHF Women's Hockey Series Finals in Ireland from June 8 to 16.

Thursday was the deadline for submitting squads and, with the North not responding, the South decided to enter alone.

“It will just be the South Korean team, not a unified team,” an official at the Korea Hockey Federation in Seoul told AFP.

South Korea's sports minister Park Yang-woo held out hope of a change of heart by Pyongyang.

“We have repeatedly sent our request but there has been no response. We will wait until the very last minute,” he told reporters earlier this week.

“If there is progress in talks for joint teams later, we will resume discussions but we have to prioritise the opinions of the athletes,” he said.

Pyongyang and Seoul have announced plans for a joint bid to host the 2032 Summer Games, but officials in the South Korean capital say there has not been any discussion on the project with their northern counterparts.


Green Machine to host fun clinic post-USA test

Ireland with USA after their game at Pembroke last July. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Ireland’s men are encouraging children to bring their sticks along to their Friday night match against USA to take part in a special fun, post-match clinic, free for all comers.

Children will all have free entry to the game at Pembroke’s Serpentine Avenue with adults €10 in what will be one of just two pre-FIH Series Finals international games to be played in Dublin.

On the field, there has been one adjustment to the side named for the Series Finals with David Harte and coach Alexander Cox unavailable for this weekend.

Both are still to conclude their club season with Dutch side SV Kampong who are currently embroiled in a best-of-three grand final series against HC Bloemendaal.

Harte had a fine game in the first of that series on Wednesday evening but ultimately Kampong fell 2-1, meaning they need to win both on Saturday and Sunday to retain the title.

It means Mark Ingram has been added to the Irish panel for the first home international matches of 2019, joining Jamie Carr in the line-up announced last week.

Cox, meanwhile, will leave the coaching duties primarily to regular assistant Kai de Jager with legendary Dutch striker Roderick Weusthof also helping out.

Weusthof is the all-time top goalscorer in the Hoofdklasse with 345 along with 79 international goals in 153 games, encompassing an Olympic silver and European gold. Since retiring from playing, the 37-year-old has been an assistant with a number of Dutch top level clubs.

Ireland meet the US on Friday night in Pembroke at 7pm and then again on Sunday at 12pm at the same venue. It follows recent training camps in Holland and Lisnagarvey and they will return to the latter to play France on June 4th and 6th.

Men’s Senior international test matches
Friday: Ireland v USA, Serpentine Avenue, 7pm
Sunday: Ireland v USA, Serpentine Avenue, 12pm

The Hook

Dancer enjoys “weird” induction after Shaw information-swap

Sean Dancer pictured at Park Developments’ Reflector Building. Picture: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Sean Dancer says he had a “weird” induction to the Irish women’s hockey team as the man taking over his old job, Graham Shaw, was the man showing him the ropes.

Of course, the same was true in reverse with Dancer hosting the mutually beneficial meeting in New Zealand prior to swapping hemispheres.

Dancer was the interim head coach of the Blacksticks for the past six months before applying for the top job with Ireland, a role vacated by Shaw’s successful application for the New Zealand gig.

With the two sides unlikely to meet in Olympic qualifiers later this year, Dancer said it meant the two men could be “really open and honest” in their handover messages.

“It’s a really good thing about high performance sport and hockey in general, you have people who are happy to support,” Dancer said. “It was still a very difficult, weird situation but I valued that chance.”

Speaking at his first press engagement on Monday at Park Developments’ announcement of a four-year support package of bursaries for the players, Dancer said he sees his task as infusing a bit Oceanic flair to an Irish side.

“The main thing is the European style of hockey is more defensive; the Oceania one is more attacking. I want to keep the good parts of the European but add that attacking side. I am sure Graham will want to do the same in reverse!”

For now, Dancer’s role is slightly hands off. He observed his first training sessions last weekend but will not formally take over the reins until after June’s FIH Series Finals in Banbridge with Gareth Grundie heading things up.

Nonetheless, he introduced himself personally to each of the squad at last week’s session at Banbridge and is looking forward to picking up as much information as possible.

“A big part of the coaching role is personal relationships. It’s really important I get to know everyone as best I can and this was a perfect opportunity with the players in camp all day Saturday and Sunday.

“I didn’t have to get it all done in one session. I am really happy with how I have been able to come and observe and get to know everything.

”It’s also about trying to understand Gareth and how his coaching works. He will lead the team and if there is anything I can help out with, I am more than happy to do that. For me, it’s about getting to know everyone well and then utilising their strengths.

“Whether there was a tournament coming up or not, I would still try and use this opportunity to observe and start to work with everybody before developing a plan from there. I am really happy with how it has started. This tournament is obviously important for Ireland so it will be great to see how it goes and I am sure Gareth and I will start talking through things.”

Dancer moves to Ireland for his first head coach job following 10 years in New Zealand, looking to make the step up from an assistant role. Before that, he grew up on the east coast of Australia before playing hockey in Belgium – against Shaw at one stage – with Herakles.

“My personal ambition was always to be a head coach and lead an international team, that’s something that I’ve really aspired to for a long time. I’ve been an assistant coach with the national programme for close to 10 years, so it’s something I’ve been working hard to get a foothold at.

“I was lucky enough to lead NZ for four months, I really enjoyed doing the job, I enjoyed the opportunity to lead and develop hockey structures, work with players. Obviously, when the Irish job came up I put my hand up and was lucky enough to get the opportunity.”

Beyond his chat with Shaw, he has a decent grounding in the Irish setup; he previously worked with former Irish boss Darren Smith.

“I had a little bit of a chat with him about a few things. That’s the good thing about high-performance coaching, the coaches are quite open and are willing to talk. He gave me some thoughts on the role and the set-up.

“As an analytical coach, I do quite like looking at all the opposition teams and getting to know everyone, so from a distance I’ve probably spent a fair bit of time looking at Ireland. And certainly, with their success at the World Cup I was one of their supporters towards the end!”

For the moment, he moves solo to Ireland with his wife – who is just starting a PhD – and four-year-old daughter remaining down under for the time-being.

“There are still a few questions to sort out. The programme is so heavy for the first six months, we have the World Series, the Europeans and the Qualifiers, so for us as a family we won’t move yet.

“My wife will stay in New Zealand without four and a half-year-old daughter. My wife is doing a good job in NZ, she’s just starting a PhD so the timing for her is not quite right. After the first six months we’ll have more of a handle on things and we’ll go from there. That’s a good thing, it just means I can get stuck in to hockey.

“It was certainly a big decision to make but as a high-performance coach, you’re going to have to be in those positions, the reality is there are not a lot of jobs, there is only one head coach, there are only limited teams.

“Part of the decision making is that I want to be a head coach, I want to lead a team, and have the opportunity to be on the world stage.”

He admits he is stepping into big shoes in Ireland off the back of their World Cup success with a newly expectant public, perhaps, looking for the side to continue sitting at the very top table.

“Expectation is a huge thing, but with expectations comes huge opportunity. And with the Park Development funding the players are now able to train a little bit more as a group, from what I know of the past they were just coming in once a week.

“Also now, financially, the girls are able to commit to more of the programme. But yeah, as a country, as a federation, the expectations are going to be huge.”

As for how he sees that funding allocated, he adds: “The ideal scenario now is that we can start to compensate the girls for a couple of days a week for their time, work or studies.

“What we’ll probably start with is a three day week where we get the girls in, say, a Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, and that will allow us do three days of full hockey and they can go back into their work or studies then.

“They’ll have a little bit of regional training or club commitments the rest of the week. For me that is a really good starting point, it’s the start of really getting a full-time hockey athlete for a full week.

“It’s a good transitional period, rather than going from minimal hockey to a full hockey week. We don’t want a hockey bum who just concentrates on hockey, because that doesn’t give you a good person at the end of it, sometimes. Whereas now we can get a really good life and hockey balance.

“It’s interesting to compare it to New Zealand. The athletes are very much part time; we only really started to contract athletes this year with more financial rewards.

“There has always been good support from the government for the high performance sports programme but not for the athletes. The players were all working full-time, we would train after hours, sometimes 8 to 10 at night, then get up for a gym session and then off to work the following day.

“Where we are at [in New Zealand] is the players are contracted for 15 hours a week which is similar to what we are going to be able to do here. It’s completely on par to that which is great.”

The Hook

Bacchus closes current Green Army chapter of long-term Irish love affair

Colin Stewart imparts some wisdom. Pic: Adrian Boehm

After four summers with the Irish women’s squad, Colin “Bacchus” Stewart has decided this “chapter was over” as he looks forward to new challenges.

The Tasmanian added to his legend as part of Graham Shaw’s coaching team last summer with the World Cup silver medal success continuing over 20 years of a love affair with the Irish game.

It’s an affair spanning spells – among others – at Corinthian, Hermes, Glenanne, Pembroke and Sutton Park before traversing continents to aid the Green Army’s success.

Initially, his involvement was one of convenience. The coach had moved with his wife, Brid, to New Zealand to work in their Blacksticks’ regional system but when a cash-strapped Ireland had a space on their coaching roster available for the 2015 Hawkes Bay Cup, Shaw saw an opportunity to rope his old mucker in.

“Sharpie and I have known each other for a long time and I coached him when he was younger. We went over to North Harbour just to say hello!

“We took Graham out for dinner and one thing led to another… I might have had one or two lemonades… but at 10.30pm, he said ‘Bacchus, you are coaching our forwards tomorrow’.

“I did that and it went well and he said ‘ would you do assistant coach next week?’ They didn’t have anyone else who could travel and we just clicked. We have the same mindset about modern, attacking hockey. He said he would do anything to bring me over!”

Stewart made a flying visit for training camps in Ulster in 2016 and was, again, in handy position to help at World League Round 2 in Malaysia in January 2017.

Once World Cup qualification was assured, he came on board full-time in 2018 with Brid helping secure Softco as team sponsor – as well as Turkish Airlines for the men – into the bargain.

And the rest was history, culminating in the World Cup silver. In that context, it was tough for Bacchus to step away but he feels the move is right for him and Brid with England calling initially before potentially returning down under.

“It was some great times. It was a hard decision after nearly four summers and I wanted to see the girls through the interim period after the World Cup but I think it was time for a new voice.

“They have chosen very well – Sean [Dancer] is a very good coach – but the chapter was over with the success in London. I came on board, in Sharpie’s words, to help out as I had coached a lot of these girls when they were 17 or 18.

“They are in such a good position heading into this year so it was a good time for me to step aside.”

He is referring to the 2008/09 vintage when Chloe Watkins, Gillian Pinder, Deirdre Duke, Anna O’Flanagan and Nikki Evans were all coming through at Hermes.

“It seems to be fate. We had such a great time when those young ones came into club hockey. I have been watching them from England and New Zealand and seeing how good they have been going.

“To come back and help them, as well as Sharpie and Joe Brennan, it had come full circle.”

Stewart in Pembroke coaching role in 2010. Pic: Adrian Boehm

O’Flanagan, indeed, credited him with playing a key role in shaping what kind of striker she has become – the all-time leading Irish women’s goalscorer – with her trademark short-handed strike a very definite imitation of Stewart’s style.

“Yeah, he taught me when I was 16 to go for shorter grip and I have done it ever since! He has definitely helped me a lot. He will be missed around the squad, whatever player you were, he could see little things that would help you improve.

“I was so lucky to have that guidance early on from him. And he is a really excellent technical coach, he really sees the smaller detail and that really helps you to do things that little bit quicker. As a player, he could score a goal from any angle and, as a striker, having someone like that coaching you is so helpful.”

Her tribute was among over 25 thank you letters from squad members for their individual development over the last three and a half years, something he described as “extremely kind and humbling”.

For Stewart, working with micro-groups is the bit he enjoys most and he loved doing individual sessions for maxiumum technical impact.

“When I do international players in particular, I can work one, two or three at a time. Even when you are picking up balls, you are talking through game situations and doing a lot of ‘outside the box’ coaching – in this situation, what can you do? You can get so much more done and I don’t think there is a whole lot of that going on.”

It is something that Stewart feels is rare the world over and sees “technical coaching” as something of a speciality, the genesis of which came at the Australian Institute of Sport under greats like Richard Aggiss, Terry Walsh and Ric Charlesworth and then through 20 years of teaching PE.

“Do I miss head coaching? In a way. But there is a dearth of technical coaches in the world and the more I do this, hopefully the better I get. I have coached over 500 coaches since the World Cup in Ireland.

“They can’t get enough of the practical coaching. I can do 20 hours on a whiteboard but it is the coaching on the pitch. There’s not a lot of it going on, being able to teach how to move your feet right, how to hit a ball right or left hand side.

“Knowing your own game and the basics of being a hockey player and how you move but also knowing the attention to detail. In Australia, we were brought up if you can hit the ball to the bottom right corner, do it 100,000 times. Make sure you can do it under any pressure, almost with your eyes closed.”

Stewart says that commitment to repetition played a key role in the opening Irish goal at the World Cup. On the face of it, it looked a rudimentary long ball from Roisin Upton out of defence to the roving Duke in behind the back.

“We spent a year working on that!” Stewart said, harking back to elements seen in practice matches at Spooky Nook against the US.

“We conjured up a plan for the US which we felt strongly we could beat them. For that goal, we called it our leading patterns of one-two-three.

“Without giving too much away, as soon as there is a break in play, we try to get three players as high as possible, one on the 23 leading across the line who has to run really hard. It gives you that long ball option; the other option takes out their free man.

“We trained it in UCD and poor old Deirdre Duke always did it. You might have to lead 30 times a game like that, 29 times you might just be creating space, getting on the ball a little bit. The 30th time… you just never know.

“Unfortunately for the girls, nowadays they have the GPS on their back so we coaches will know if they don’t hit their maximum level. They have to go hard!”

It was a sign of a plan coming together. After the win over the US, Stewart cut a content figure as he waited outside the press room to meet friends, the result and performance not a massive surprise to him.

“There was touches of it like in Malaysia, that was in front of 5,000 screaming people, all banging drums and whatever. They could handle that pressure and were obviously fit enough and the skill level had improved.

“In that summer, when we beat Germany in Germany at a three nations… and games in the US at Spooky Nook, there was a quarter there we could have put four or five past them. There were little bits each time.

“The US game wasn’t a surprise to us. That’s not us being arrogant – the US are a great side – but we always felt minimum a point. Because of that win and the way the group unfolded strangely. People say ‘were you lucky?’

“No, we made our own luck. We just felt stronger and stronger; we had good defence and strong corners and possibly the best goalkeeper in the world.”

Stewart feels he is stepping away with the side in the best possible shape. Pic: Adrian Boehm

After such a success, it may seem an odd time to step away, particularly with the Olympic Games now a much closer proposition than ever before.

Would he have stayed if Graham had stayed? “Depends what the wife’s job was! Interesting one – I am not sure. It would have been part of the same chapter I suppose but it hasn’t happened so we move on.

“People say ‘is it a stange time to move?’ No, it’s a perfect time for me and the girls are in such a good place and need a new voice. It’s important to know when to step away.

“For me, I can see myself trying to be the best technical coach I can be around the world. I have had a few contacts in different countries and we will decide what’s the best thing to do.

“The Olympics, hopefully one day I might get there but I have been fortunate to get to a World Cup final with the best bunch of girls and the best coaching staff around.”

As for his time in Ireland, he took Corinthian from Leinster relegation contenders to top-table challengers, scoring goals for fun, before picking up trophies for fun.

There remain the odd regrets but the highlights are far more modest than you might expect.

“I look back at Corinthian – whom I love dearly and am a life member – although we went from surviving by one point in Division One when I first got them, up to top three.

“That was a nice story but there was one game when we lost on the 16th stroke of the Irish Senior Cup semi-final for Charlie Henderson moving too early and a penalty goal was givem. That sticks in my mind for Corinthians and their staunch fans to have that one day at UCD. We had a great time but that would have been fantastic.

“As for highlights, I’ve been really lucky, working with Ronan Walsh and Brian Scully at Sutton Park. When the Under-13s won the cup for the first time, it’s only 12 year olds but we were crying as coaches.

“The school has never done anything like that. And then they made the All-Irelands for five years in a row. It is the small things. You look at the big trophies we won with Hermes and Pembroke with Craig Fulton but it’s seeing a player do something they have never done before, putting the ball top left corner with a big smile. That’s just as good!”

The Hook

Croon’s crowning moment in brilliant Bloemendaal first leg win

©: World Sport Pics

It is advantage Bloemendaal in the Dutch men’s grand final as they won the first leg of their best of three crown 2-1 at the Klapperboom.

In a memorable tie, Jorrit Croon produced an immortal moment for the first goal when he brilliantly juggled the ball up to waist-height and sumptuously balanced and then flipped it past David Harte.

An instant Instagram viral hit, it gave Bloemendaal a 1-0 lead that they held for a long time but they were pegged back with just a couple of minutes to go.

It was a fortuitous equaliser as Bjorn Kellerman’s mishit shot bounced into the ground and up a head-height where Philio Meulenbroek stole in to tip around the cover of Maurits Visser.

But they were only level for just a few seconds as Manu Stockbroekx burst down the right flank and then smacked a backhand to Thierry Brinkman who got down low to touch in.

Looking back on the Croon moment of magic, Visser said: 'With him you never know what he will do. That boy is so resourceful and so technical. He can do anything,

“When you think that Jorrit is going to do something with his forehand, he puts the ball into the hook and runs around you. That also makes it fun to be on his side. The hockey field is a playground for him."

For fixture two of the series, the action switches to Bloemendaal on Saturday at 4pm (CET).

In the playoff for the third EHL ticket from the Netherlands, AH&BC Amsterdam won the home leg 3-2 against HGC with goals from Valentin Verga, Mirco Pruijser and Justin Reid-Ross getting the goals.

Euro Hockey League media release

Advantage Amsterdam in Dutch women’s grand final

©: World Sport Pics

Eva de Goede’s penalty stroke in the second last minute gave AH&BC Amsterdam the big advantage as they won the first leg of their three-game Dutch final series on Thursday evening at the Wagener Stadium.

It earned them a 2-1 win over Den Bosch, meaning a win on Saturday in game two will see them secure the national crown.

Frédérique Matla put Den Bosch in front eight minutes into the second half of the tie when her tame push at goal took a big touch off defender Charlotte Adegeest's stick, which prevented keeper Anne Veenendaal from keeping it out.

It was Matla's 24th goal in the last 22 games and was a deserved lead for a dominant performance up to that point.

But Amsterdam have been unflustered in such situations this season and they dealt well with the setback.

Soon after Matla's goal, Kitty van Male got the equaliser when she intercepted Pien Sanders’ loose ball out of defence. It led to a shot from Charlotte Vega which Josine Koning saved but van Male scooped up the second phase.

And Amsterdam were rampant and got their big chance when Pleun van der Plas fouled Marijn Veen and the decision stood after a video review. De Goede stepped up and scored, putting them to the brink of the Dutch title and a possible double having already secured the EuroHockey Club Cup.

Euro Hockey League media release

IOA and FIH chief Narinder Batra set to be elected International Olympic Committee member

File image of Narinder Batra. Getty images

New Delhi: Indian Olympic Association president Narinder Batra has been proposed to be elected as a member of the International Olympic Committee by the executive board of the world sport's apex body.

The proposal to elect Batra and nine other new members was submitted on Wednesday by the Executive Board of the IOC to IOC Session that will meet in June in Lausanne, a statement from the world body said.

"Seven of the 10 proposed new members are individual members, while there are three candidatures linked to a function within a National Olympic Committee (NOC) or a Continental Association of NOCs," the IOC statement added.

The vote for the prestigious seat is due to be held on June 26.

Batra is among the three names proposed to be elected from among persons linked to his or her function in a NOC, chosen in close consultation with the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC).

All the proposed members have been vetted by the IOC Ethics Commission, which has conducted integrity checks.

"The addition of the 10 new members would bring the total number of IOC members to 105," the IOC said.

With the election of Batra, the number of Indians who are currently active members of IOC will rise to two.

Reliance Foundation Chairperson Nita Ambani was elected as an individual member of the IOC in 2016. She is the first Indian woman to be elected to the prestigious seat.

Former IOA Secretary General Randhir Singh served as a member of the IOC from 2001 to 2014 and has been made an honorary member since then.

Batra will have a rare distinction of becoming a member of the IOC, while heading a National Olympic Committee as well as an international federation. He is the first Indian to have this distinction.

He has already become the first Indian to head an international federation of an Olympic sport.

On the proposal to elect 10 new members, the IOC President Thomas Bach said: "IOC members are representatives of the IOC in their respective countries, where they promote Olympism and its values.

"These 10 new members proposed to the IOC Session have different backgrounds, but they all have a great passion for and knowledge of the Olympic and sports movement, which will help their mission and will be beneficial for the entire Olympic Movement."

In line with Olympic Agenda 2020, the candidates were selected by the IOC Members Election Commission, chaired by HRH The Princess Royal, taking into consideration several criteria such as their expertise in different domains (including medical, sociological, cultural, political, business, legal and sports management expertise), in addition to geographic and gender balance.

The seven proposed Individual Members are: Ntsama Epse Engoulou (Cameroon), Spyros Capralos (Greece), Laura Chinchilla (Costa Rica), Matlohang Moiloa-Ramoqopo (Lesotho), Filomena Africano Fortes (Cape Verde), Tidjane Thiam (Ivory Coast), Erick Thohir (Indonesia) while the other two names related to their position in a NOC are Mustapha Berraf (President of Algerian NOC) and Kee Heung Lee (President of Korean Sport & Olympic Committee).

Hockey India, of which Batra was a long time president, congratulated him on being proposed to be elected as an individual member of the IOC.

"It is a befitting honour to a man who has been instrumental in sports administration in India and as the former President of Hockey India Dr Batra paved the way for revival of Hockey in the country," HI President Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad said.

"While Indian sports is climbing higher echelons with improved performances at the world level, having him as a Member in the IOC will prove beneficial for sports in the country. I wish him the very best in this new endeavour," he added.


Celebrating the Life of Joceleyn Kaligis

USA Field Hockey celebrates the life and legacy of Joceleyn Emory Kaligis, who passed away earlier this month. Kaligis was an athlete, umpire and teacher of the game to all who met him.

Born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in 1936, “Joce” lived through the devastation of World War II and the ruin of his birth city. In 1954, he immigrated to the United States during the Hungarian Revolution, ultimately settling in Illinois. Kaligis served in the military in 1965 as a Veterinary Corp food inspector. He pursued a degree in education from the University of Illinois before he became an educator who taught German, social studies and humanities for more than 30 years at Whitehall High School. He retired from teaching in 1991.

In addition to being Whitehall’s field hockey coach for many years, he was a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team from 1963-79. He was part of the squad that earned a bronze medal in the 1967 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada, the first time field hockey was played in the major event. Kaligis also represented the red, white and blue in the 1971 Pan American Games in Cali, Columbia.

Kaligis was a member of the PIAA officials chapter for more than 40 years and also served as chapter president. His contributions to the sport earned him an induction in to Whitehall’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.

Kaligis had a unique point of view and always made time for anyone in need of mentoring. Whether it be a challenge on the field or a trial of the heart, he would provide enthusiastic motivation, guidance and support in order to put someone right into scoring position.

Kaligis leaves behind his beloved wife Pat, sons, Christopher and Jake, and a very large following of devoted field hockey players, students and friends.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Kaligis' memory to the Special Olympics organization.

USFHA media release

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