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News for 28 March 2020

All the news for Saturday 28 March 2020

Oltman flies home amid MCO

By Jugjet Singh

Roelant Oltmans

National hockey coach Roelant Oltmans has packed his bags and is leaving for the Netherlands today.

However, the Dutchman is not washing his hands off by leaving his national trainees unattended.

Each trainee has been given a training programme to keep themselves fit at home following the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) due to Covid-19.

Oltmans hopes his players will be as fit as a fiddle when he returns and resumes his duty.

“We managed to secure a ticket for Oltmans to return home on Saturday (today). I think it is best that he is with his family during these trying times.

“It was still okay for him before the MCO was extended to April 14.

“The situation worldwide is becoming more serious, and it is only logical for Oltmans to be with his family,” said Malaysian Hockey Confederation president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal yesterday.

Subahan also disclosed that the other national coaches, Wallace Tan (men’s junior) and Lailin Abu Hassan (women’s coach), are keeping daily tabs on their players.

“Coaches are in daily contact with their players and have set a programme for them to follow. Players, in turn, must report back on what they do for the day.

“This is to make sure that even though all the tournaments this year have been postponed, the players are still kept in shape.

The programme is for them to taper down their training intensity.

“Before the implementation of MCO, our players were in high-intensity training. Their programme is now towards tapering down and keeping fit.

“We can't do anything else but to wait until it is safe to play sports again.”

Oltmans had initially gathered his players to prepare for the Azlan Shah Cup in April before it was postponed to September.

Many hockey players have posted videos of themselves training and keeping fit with their family on social media, and there is nothing else anybody can do but to stay home and stay fit.

New Straits Times

Faiz can now stick to home and family routine


KUALA LUMPUR: National hockey defender Faiz Helmi Jali said the two-week extension under the movement control order (MCO) is a blessing in disguise.

The first MCO is from March 18 to 31. On Thursday, the government decided to extend the period until April 14.

And this means Faiz will get the chance to spend more time with his wife Nur Amirah Abu Samah and his second child, a baby boy, born on March 13.

The 28-year-old Faiz, who already has a two-year-old daughter Nur Alya Farisha, named his son Farish Aqasha.

Faiz, who made his international debut in the Champions Challenge 2 in Buenos Aires in 2012, said that he is proud to be father of a baby boy.

“And I thank God that both my wife and son are in good health. I have a complete family as I have a daughter and a son.

“I hope my son will follow in my footsteps to be a sportsman like me. I will be happy if he becomes a hockey player, ” said Faiz, who lives in Nilai, Negri Sembilan.

Faiz, who is captain of Tenaga Nasional in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) which ended last month, added that the two-week extension is a blessing.

“I can spend more time with my family. Previously, I was busy with my twice-a-day training at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur.

“Now, I take care of my son and at the same time do push-ups, stretching and squatting at home to maintain my fitness level, ” said the pint-sized defender, who stands at just 1.54m (5’1”) and has represented Malaysia 175 times since 2012.

Despite his diminutive stature, Faiz has the speed and ability to outsmart bigger and taller players.

That has seen him feature in two World Cups – The Hague, Holland in 2014 and Bhubaneswar, India, in 2018.

The experienced and hardy defender is among 34 players called up by national coach Roelant Oltmans for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh from Sept 27 to Oct 3.

Faiz, who helped Malaysia win the silver medal in the Indonesian Asian Games in 2018, said he hopes to play for Malaysia as long as he can.

“I have never featured in the Olympics and I hope to do so before I retire. I want to help Malaysia qualify for the next Olympics in Paris in 2024, ” said Faiz, who last played for the national team in the two Olympic playoff matches against Britain in London last November.

Malaysia lost 9-3 on aggregate to Britain in the two matches and failed to qualify for the 2020 Games. Malaysia last played in the Olympics in the 2000 Sydney edition.

The Star of Malaysia

2020 National Hockey Festival Heads to Panama City Beach, Fla.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Field Hockey realizes that schools, many businesses and sports are at a standstill due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. This pandemic is having a severe impact on all lives and on the economy across the country and around the world. USA Field Hockey is thinking of everyone and are looking forward to sunnier days ahead and getting back on the field together to enjoy the game we love.

One of the sunniest traditions in field hockey is USA Field Hockey’s National Hockey Festival, presented by CranBarry. The 40th edition of the Thanksgiving-weekend tradition will be moving to a different state-of-art facility at the Panama City Beach Sports Complex in Panama City Beach, Fla. and will be held on from November 26 to 28, 2020. The complex features 13 lighted fields, including nine AstroTurf multi-purpose fields with Z-Cap Cooling technology.

“We are excited to bring field hockey and the National Hockey Festival to Panama City Beach,” said Madeline Hoeppner, USA Field Hockey’s Events and Club Services Manager. “Our membership is excited to play Festival games on synthetic turf and the Panama City Beach Sports Complex is one of the few venues in the country with enough fields in close proximity to accommodate this event. This location really fits Festival and is the ultimate ‘play-cation’ experience. We are able to offer field hockey at a contemporary sports facility in a part of the United States that is known for its world class beaches and Florida sunshine.”

With an average of 320 days of Florida sunshine each year and over 27 miles of white sand beaches, Panama City Beach is a favorite for travelers seeking an affordable beach vacation with year-round offerings. The region features exciting on-shore and off-shore attractions that are catered to adrenaline-seekers, eco-tourists, families and couples alike. Panama City Beach offers more than 16,500 rooms, giving visitors a variety of accommodations. From hotels and condominiums to beach homes, there is truly something that fits any teams' budget. The National Hockey Festival is a Stay-to-Play event and will be working with Team Travel Source to coordinate housing for all participants. Panama City Beach is also home to the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) which services direct flights to 11 destinations and added more daily flights in 2020.

“We're thrilled to be hosting USA Field Hockey's National Hockey Festival this November,” said Jamie Cox, General Manager for the Panama City Beach Sports Complex, “This is a relationship we believe will be a huge win for everybody, especially the families and athletes who will now be able to experience our beautiful beaches, amazing attractions and remarkable restaurants here in Panama City Beach. The combination of our state-of-the-art facility and world-class destination is such a perfect fit.”

Registration timing will depend upon recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hopefully in late April or early May. USA Field Hockey Member Clubs should look for updates and be prepared to get in on the action. Stay tuned for more information regarding registration, divisions and ancillary programming!

USA Field Hockey and its partners will continue to deliver diverse and premier programming both on and off the pitch for an event experience that celebrates the field hockey family and cultivates the continued growth of the sport in the United States. USA Field Hockey is looking forward to seeing you at the 40th National Hockey Festival in Panama City Beach, Fla. If you have any questions about Festival in 2020, please email Madeline Hoeppner, USA Field Hockey's Events and Club Services Manager, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


USFHA media release

Strathmore fill up class of 2020 with fresh talent


Strathmore University have beefed up their men and women’s sides as they seek better fortunes in the Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) League that was recently suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The women’s Premier League bullied off last month, with Strathmore Scorpion playing to a barren draw against Dutch Flowers Group Wolverines, while the men’s equivalent was scheduled to begin last weekend before the union called off all action in line with a government driven to help control the spread of the deadly virus.

Strathmore men’s side, Gladiators, who languished at the tail end of the table for the better part of last season before staging a late fightback to escape the drop have recruited five players drawn from secondary schools across the country.

They are goalkeeper Eugene Sifuna and forward Godfrey Owino from Federation of East Africa Secondary Schools Sports Association champions Friends School Kamusinga, defender Brian Gitau and forward Logan Mabuka from St Anthony’s Kitale and midfielder Oscar Otieno from Maseno School.

Strathmore women, also known as Scorpions, finished third last season, and have brought on board 10 players also drawn from various schools.

They include forward Jane Mang’o, goalkeeper Rita Opiti and defender Damaris Akinyi from Nyamira Girls High School as well as midfielder Maureen Ongoche, defender Christine Awor and attacking midfielder Stephanie Akinyi from hockey powerhouse Sinyolo Secondary School.


Others are defender Lilian Wesonga from Eregi Girls, midfielder Venessa Sudi (Karimi Girls), forward Rachael Khamala (St Cecilia High School) and defender Vickline Achieng (Kisumu Girls Secondary).

Meshack Senge, the coach of both Gladiators and Scorpions, is hopeful the new signings will do good to the varsity sides as they seek top honours in their respective leagues.

“The ladies begun the season on a wrong foot but we hope to recover. Our intention is to better our performance of last year, and just like every other teams in the league we are also eyeing the title.

“They are good players who have shown tremendous potential.”

He continued: “Definitely we want to get everything right this time around for the men’s team. We don’t want to find ourselves in the position we were last time and I believe with this squad better results await us.”

Senge is the former Kenya men’s team coach.

Daily Nation

COVID-19: Isolation no barrier as Hockey Family gets creative on social media

European Hockey Federation shared photos of their Hall of Famers as a part of the #GameFaceChallenge

With people all over the world currently using social distancing or in isolation to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 virus, the hockey family has been finding ingenious ways to stay active, practise their skills and spread the word about staying safe.

Literally thousands of videos and images have been shared on social media by the hockey fans and players across the globe, and here is a small selection of the themes. The positivity is truly astonishing – we salute each and every one of you!

1: The game-face challenge
The game-face challenge asks people to post a photo of their face during a sports game and has taken Instagram by storm, with major global sporting icons uploading some genuinely fantastic – and occasionally hilarious – images of themselves in action. The European Hockey Federation (EHF) got everyone talking with the amazing in-game facial expressions of EHF Hall of Famers Natascha Keller, Teun de Nooijer, Kate Richardson-Walsh, Santi Freixa, Nikki Symmons, Jerome Truyens, Maartje Paumen, Pol Amat, Julia Müller and Moritz Fürste. Get involved by using the #gamefacechallenge hashtag.

2: Tag and share your best hockey moment
The stay at home campaign has given our athletes an opportunity to look back at the archives and share some of their favourite moments from their career, whilst also nominating fellow athletes to get involved. We have seen so many athletes sharing throwback moments on Instagram stories, with Maddie Hinch, Rachael Lynch, Eva de Goede, Delfina Merino and PR Sreejesh amongst the contributors.

3: Work-out videos
If you have been looking for unusual ways to work out like an international hockey player in these unusual times, you certainly have plenty of videos to choose from. Dutch attacking ace and 2015 FIH Player of the Year Lidewij Welten has been posting some hugely impressive #stayathomechallenges for you to try, while a video of Belgium striker Jill Boon doing press-ups with a goat on her back has to be seen to be believed!

4: Skills and tricks videos
Some of the world’s finest hockey players have been showing off their skills in recent weeks, from dribbling around cones, sticks and plant pots in the garden to weaving around tables and chair legs in living rooms. Current stars like Argentina’s Agustina Albertarrio and Felix Denayer of Belgium have been keeping people entertained, with all-time greats such as Jamie Dwyer, Alex Danson and many others doing exactly the same. As part of the #hockeyathome challenge, Ireland duo Nikki Daly and Ali Meeke showed great creativity by making an obstacle course using raw building materials. If you are looking for something slightly different, we’d recommend you take a look at the #IsolationOlympics videos put together by Great Britain striker Sam Ward, who has given his own unique take on sports such as Cycling, Fencing, and even … Show Jumping!    

5: #StayAtHome
Whilst there has been plenty of fun and games, a huge number of international players have been working hard to spread the crucially important messages of how to look after yourselves at this time. A video featuring individual messages featuring numerous Argentina women’s players such as Delfina Merino, Carla Rebecchi and has proven a big hit in South America, while India goalkeepers PR Sreejesh, Krishan Pathak and Suraj Karkera have also posted about the importance of washing hands and using hand sanitisers at this time.

FIH site

Volunteering: the life blood of hockey

What can be done to keep volunteers in the game? PIC: Simon Parker / England Hockey

Dave Miller is retiring after 45 years of volunteering. He tells The Hockey Paper why we shouldn’t take volunteers for granted

Hockey, like so many amateur based sports, has been and always will be reliant on the volunteer.

Sure, the sport in the UK, certainly since the London Olympics, has become more professional and its media profile has never been so high, but it is still so dependent on the work and good will of the volunteer.

I have been volunteering in the sport since I left university in 1974, 45 years of working in hockey that has sustained me throughout my working life and into retirement. It has been the release valve, the social go to and a way of life that kept me sane and provided the check to the pressure of work and family life.

For some like myself it has been easy and has never been a burden or a chore, rather a pressure release which has come naturally and which I have always enjoyed. When I started work teaching in my first secondary school in the then ‘Pit Community’ of Shiney Row, on the edge of Sunderland, I introduced hockey for boys into a community where boys played football and hockey was a girls’ sport.

Linking with my new hockey club at Durham City, my first role in coaching and youth development started here and within weeks of my first club season I was put on the club committee. Volunteering was underway. This season, leading the volunteer team at Durham University HC for the last time, I have really found my energy levels have been tested as my 66 years take a hold.

A greater need for volunteers

Of course today the world has changed and demands on time are now much greater and the speed of life so much faster, but the need for volunteers in sport is just as important now as it was in the 1970s. I am, though, not sure if the volunteers starting, say, next season in their first club involvement will be as long serving as my generation.

But I am fortunate to be part of a forward-thinking university that puts emphasis on community involvement and volunteering. Helping students find a role in hockey volunteering is very worthwhile, whether it’s in youth development, coaching, umpiring or club administration. The next generation of volunteers are out there.

Three key points we must consider:

1. Don’t take volunteers for granted
2. Praise costs little but means so much
3. Create and encourage active hockey families

As I watch students move through life, I see a different trend as social and family life takes on a very different demand on time. Now, as their young families grow and their life partners demand more of their time, once playing comes to an end so involvement in the sport as a volunteer falls.

Of course there are exceptions; one such being England Hockey‘s Steve Tabb, a past Durham student, who puts more into our sport than anyone I know. But if I could use him as an example, here are some pointers for future volunteering individuals:

• Love of playing the sport at whatever level
• Family involvement in club hockey
• An ideas person who works hard to implement their plans
• Passion, sense of community and a lack of self interest
• Energy both within as well as outside committees
• A supporting partner and family

The final point has been crucial during my years. My wife of 44 years, Jean, has been the most important constant. Although not a sports person herself, she has supported and encouraged my involvement as a volunteer even when I was playing hockey in the winter and cricket in the summer.

Family, where possible, is such an important part of volunteering. My two kids were always at hockey with me. My son Simon took up the sport and played at a good regional level. On his move to university I was planning to move out of hockey and take up other interests, but he decided he wanted to go to Durham and so he became a member of my club. I couldn’t really leave.

A family legacy?

My daughter Kate has always been around my hockey but has always been upset that I did not encourage her to play. Again, things come round and now her son has started to play for his local club side, Leighton Buzzard HC. She is now in attendance again, this time supporting her son and her daughter in the sport she was never encouraged to grow into. She and her husband are now looking at supporting hockey and I think volunteering is not far away.

Dave Miller, pictured middle third from right, with the NE Schoolboy U14s, including a young Barry Middleton

For me I am finally looking to move away from my hockey volunteering. I have a seat in the new DUHC stadium and next season I plan to just turn up and just watch the next generation of student hockey players following on from the likes of recent GB international athletes Steph Elliot, Tess Howard, Jack Waller, Rhys Smith and Jack Turner.

But my grandson is now 10 and playing in goal, like I once did, for LBHC. More family weekends in the south might mean new volunteering opportunities with my daughter and my grandchildren. Sorry, Jean.

Dave Miller’s CV
Dave played as goalkeeper from 1971 to 2012 and umpired from 1994 to 2014 in the North East Leagues. He was a coach and manager at schools and universities during this time, as well as holding a host of administration roles: treasurer, chair and secretary for HA’s and clubs. He was a torch bearer for London 2012 and won an England Hockey volunteer award in 2000.

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The Hockey Paper

Welsh hockey fans continue history research in landmark month

By Richard Bright

Challenges come in all shapes and sizes – and in the case of two hockey enthusiasts we have one which will be etched in history.

The quest for friends Phil Bailey and Steve Knight involves over a century’s worth of Welsh hockey internationals.

Not only are they currently researching and archiving all Welsh hockey’s games, they are delving deeper to create an authoritative archive with complete player and cap records from 1899 to the present day.

They are deep into their research but will be boosted by a significant landmark: March 27 marking the 121st anniversary of the Welsh ladies first ever match against Ireland at Llandudno.

For the record, Ireland won 5-0 but the intrepid pair already have the team and their clubs from that opening international. As they do for over 600 games and records for 400 players.

Volunteers Bailey and Knight, who watch every Clifton Ladies home game together, have a historical background, having compiled statistics in cricket and it bodes well for their hockey challenge.

“Watching hockey the last few years and talking with a number of the Welsh women (current and former internationals) it was clear that little was in place, or what was available was not in a detailed or organised archive,” said Bailey.

“Players were telling us they would like to have records of their games and caps in place and just a record for history.”

Knight’s day job is in IT and so a database was soon up and running, while Bailey works as a deputy headmaster in Bristol.

They started with old programmes as sources, discovered a Welsh online newspaper site that had matches from 1899 to 1909, all detailed with research, while Wales Women did not then play again until 1923 when the current association was formed.

Research continued online via the International Hockey Federation and British Newspaper Archive, while they are working in partnership with Hockey Wales and The Hockey Museum in a three-fold collaborative effort.

“Last year we went through boxes of material at the Institute of Sport and found many old programmes going back to the 1930s, players tour diaries from 1940-50s, and old photos,” added Bailey.

Their research has thrown up a wealth of interesting information, while they are safe in the knowledge that no internationals were played between 1909 and 1923.

From their newspaper archive research, they garnered that Wales lost every game between 1899 and 1909, with a 15-0 loss to England at Abergavenny in 1902; venues have ranged from The Oval and Edgbaston to Trostre Steel Works, Port Talbot; players were awarded cloth badges as ‘caps’ back in the day, while old programmes such as Commonwealth Games have names, addresses and phone numbers of players from all countries participating.

One quirky fact has also emerged from a 1936 committee meeting, where it was mandatory for the Welsh women to wear hair nets when playing, but not for club players!

Welsh hockey great Sheila Morrow has also provided the duo with her tour diaries, while they have been in touch with Anne Ellis, who is providing some of her material. In 2018, both former playing greats were recognised as two of 50 most inspirational Welsh Women by Women’s Equality Network (WEN) Wales.

For Bailey and Knight, it is still unknown how many games have actually been played by Wales women. “That remains a challenge, it’s about putting the pieces of the jigsaw together through research and leg work,” added Bailey.

Bailey and Knight are appealing for any information, programmes and relatives of players who have played Welsh women’s international matches. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Hockey Paper

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