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News for 24 April 2020

All the news for Friday 24 April 2020

A sustainable system offers a bright future for hockey in India

Hockey India is working hard to create a nation-wide, structured development pathway for coaches and officials. In the latest move to ensure that coaches are well-qualified and up-to-date with all technical aspects and terminologies of the modern game, India Hockey launched its India Coaching Education Pathway in March 2019 with an aim to provide certification to candidates who are already coaches or aspiring to become a coach.

The courses, which range from Basic Level through to Level 2, are delivered via a combination of classroom teaching and practical on-pitch activities.

Since its inception just over a year ago, more than 500 practising or aspiring coaches – all of whom fulfilled the eligibility criteria – have taken part in the programme and received certification.

Hockey India’s coaching pathway follows the FIH general framework for coaching field hockey from grass-root to international level. Additional support is provided by the FIH Hockey Academy. However, the content and delivery is very much down to the local educators and tailored to the needs of the group.

Leading the courses are Hockey India Educators who have completed FIH Educator or FIH Level 2 Coaching Certification. Additionally, chief coaches and analytical coaches from the Indian national men’s and women’s teams deliver guest lectures depending on their availability.

Mohd. Mushtaque Ahmad, President of Hockey India, says: “The education and accreditation of coaches in India has already started delivering results with several hundred candidates receiving certification and several coaches identified to work with the national men’s and women’s programmes.”

The President explains that the Coach Accreditation programmes are important because they ensure consistency, firstly in technical and tactical knowledge across the coaching cohort, and secondly in terms of the language used to communicate – using standard hockey phrases and terminology.

The courses emphasise 12 basic skills and focus is placed on modern principles of play. The outcome, says Ahmad, is that the overall standard of Indian hockey will improve as coaches use their new knowledge and training.

Alongside the improvements in coach education, the national governing body also recognises the importance of raising the standard of umpires and tournament officials and making sure they are conversant with developments in the game. To address this, Hockey India conducts various FIH Umpire and Technical Official courses to provide national level umpires and technical officials with an opportunity to enhance their knowledge and understand the practical delivery of the latest rules and regulations at national and international level.

Mohd. Mushtaque Ahmad explains how the process has inbuilt sustainability: “The Hockey India Coaching Education Pathway provides certification at various levels and only after obtaining a Hockey India Level 2 Coach Certification is a coach eligible to enrol for the FIH Coaching Courses. Hockey India Educators will identify future Educators to participate in the FIH Coach Educator Course and, if successful, will induct these coaches into the national programme. Through collaboration with our stakeholders it is providing job opportunities for the certified coaches.”

“Certified coaches are getting an opportunity to work within the national programme. They all understand common hockey coaching language across the domestic circuit and this helps in creating development opportunities and standardisation of training at the grassroots level. It has also allowed for hockey as a sport to offer many more employment opportunities across the board.”

FIH site

Indian women's hockey team focused on Olympic medal, says midfielder Namita

A meniscus injury during the 2018 Asian Games ruled midfielder Namita Toppo out of action until September 2019.   -  Hockey India

Indian women's hockey team midfielder Namita Toppo said on Thursday that the postponement of Tokyo Olympics will help the team as it aims for its first medal at the Olympics.

"Our target was always to win an Olympic medal, and even with the postponement, that does not change. It definitely gives us more time to be prepared for next year, and to perform really well," Namita said.

"I feel our team is also fortunate enough to not have any ageing players, and this group of players has been playing together for a long time, and I believe one more year of experience will only help us in achieving our goal," she added.

Namita, who commands the midfield for the World No. 9 Indian Women's Hockey team, returned to the side after a lengthy injury lay-off only in September 2019, and has since focused on catching up to speed with her teammates.

"I was really struggling when I was away from the team. It was close to 9-10 months that I was out of the side. I had injured my meniscus, which basically means I had torn my knee cartilage during the Asian Games 2018. I was really worried at first because I was not sure how long it would take for me to come back, especially with the Olympics only a couple of years away. But when I look back now, I think that lengthy spell on the sidelines made me stronger," said Namita.

"Initially it was really tough because I would have immense pain, and would wake up at night, and start to overthink. I believe my teammates and coaches played a huge role in making sure I was in the right frame of mind," she added.

As she targets her second consecutive Olympic Games, Namita reflected on her journey back to the Indian team through difficult times.

"At first I didn't realise I would be spending about 9-10 months outside, but our scientific advisor Wayne Lombard told me that the type of meniscal injury I had was accompanied by some early onset degeneration - which made things complicated, and it increased my recovery period. It was tough because I would keep thinking if I would ever make it back to the squad. But I spoke to my teammates who had spent similar periods on the treatment table, and I would get some sort of strength," said the 24-year old.

The Rourkela native recalled the time when she finally made a comeback into the national team squad for the tour of England in September 2019.

"When I was finally fit and had regained my touch and sharpness in the national camp, and was included in the squad for England tour, I was really happy because I had set a target for myself and I was able to achieve it. I wanted to help my side qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, and playing in the England tour gave me a chance to prove to chief coach that I should be in the team for the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers, which were to take place in November 2019," said Namita.


Getting back to rhythm will take time: Indian hockey team player Sumit

This is probably the first time that we have not trained hockey in so long. Getting back to that fine rhythm will take some time

Source: Hockey India

Having begun the year on a positive note with confidence-invoking performance against the World’s top 3 teams in the FIH Hockey Pro League, the Indian Men’s Hockey team had set course to what would have been a memorable outing at the Tokyo Olympics. “I remember when we won the Sultan of Johor Cup in 2014 and steadily kept improving performance in the lead up to the FIH Men’s Junior World Cup in 2016, the team had started believing that we can win the Gold. That self-belief and attitude is what eventually helped us win the title. We felt that same belief after performing well against the Netherlands, Belgium and Australia. Every single player in the core group believes we can finish top 3 in the Olympics,” stated India midfielder Sumit, who was also part of the 2016 Junior World Cup winning squad.

He recalled that the team was in the middle of intense training when the nation-wide lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic abruptly halted their training. “We were in excellent rhythm when training was suspended due to lockdown. But the team feels we are better off in SAI Centre, Bengaluru where we still get to come out of our rooms and use running track and do core exercises. I can’t imagine being stuck at home back in Haryana with no option for any basic fitness training,” expressed Sumit, who played a key role in India’s midfield during their campaign against the Netherlands earlier this year at the FIH Hockey Pro League.

Source: Hockey India

The midfielder admits these are difficult times for any athlete. “This is probably the first time that we have not trained hockey in so long. Getting back to that fine rhythm will take some time but since we are focused on maintaining fitness, we are in a better position than many of our opponents. From here on, in the lead up to the Olympics next year it’s important to stay fit and stay injury-free,” stated Sumit who was out of action for nearly six months in 2019 after a wrist injury in June during the FIH Series Final in Bhubaneswar. Though he made a fine comeback against the Netherlands in January this year, he suffered a hamstring injury ahead of the matches against Australia.

Sumit further added that the team often discusses about the Olympics and their chances. “Olympics is the ultimate dream and the postponement has not changed our belief of a top-3 finish. We get more time under Chief Coach Graham and personally he has instilled a lot of confidence in me. He encourages me by saying I am versatile and can play in any position and emphasises I need to focus more on attacking hockey and positioning inside circle. We youngsters have another year to prove worthy to make the team for Olympics,” Sumit said.

The Bridge

Teammates, Rivals, Teammates: USWNT’s Hoffman and Lepage Share Rare Bond

Images Courtesy of Maryland Athletics and UNC Athletic Communications

Teammates can form a life-long bond. Rivals can motivate you to achieve higher goals on the field of competition. Between U.S. Women’s National Team athletes Ashley Hoffman and Kelee Lepage, they have experienced both long before representing the red, white and blue. From teenagers to young adults, they share an uncommon bond of having played alongside one another and against each other, during some of their biggest moments of their careers.

The two gained an instant connection while wearing the iconic Twin Valley High School green jersey in Pennsylvania. Both knew this was the sport for them, according to Lepage, and they shared the dream of one day playing NCAA level hockey, as well as hopefully getting the chance to represent their country. While playing for Twin Valley, they also battled side-by-side through Futures and club hockey with X-Calibur.

“It was a lot of fun to be able to play with someone who had the same goals as me,” said Lepage. “These goals taught us to push each other in everything we did in those high school years. I remember in practices we rarely were put on the same team. We were always going head-to-head. It made us that much better and more competitive come game time. You could say we were a dynamic duo.”

“High school field hockey was the highlight of my high school experience,” added Hoffman. “In Pennsylvania, field hockey is at a relatively high level for that age range, so Kelee and I were both privileged to not only learn from each other, but learn and play against really good competition from around the state. Kelee and I were like the dynamic duo, both playing on club teams, and working our way through the Olympic Development Pathway. There is something really cool about being around people with similar priorities and goals and Kelee was that person for me. She pushed me at practice to be better every day.”

Both played key roles in helping the Raiders to a pair of back-to-back county championships in 2012 and 2013. It wasn’t long before collegiate play was on the horizon and programs were looking to recruit Hoffman and Lepage, and it was evident their paths would go in separate directions for Division I field hockey. Hoffman, a year ahead of Lepage, went south to play under legendary coach Karen Shelton at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). Lepage had her sights on Maryland underneath fabled Terrapins coach Missy Meharg. The two programs were once heated rivals in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), but before the athletes arrived on campus, Maryland moved to the Big Ten Conference in 2014. It meant no seasonal conference showdowns between their committed programs, but regardless, Lepage and Hoffman knew a collegiate tilt was inevitable.

In pursuit of an NCAA national championship, the two eventually met on the biggest stage in college sports in 2018 on opposite sides of the field as Maryland and UNC met in Louisville, Kentucky. It remains one of the athlete’s favorite sport memories.

“Ashley’s senior year, my junior year, we were both captains for our team, and met in the 2018 national championship, thus getting to shake hands in the captain’s circle before the game,” recalled Lepage. “I will never forget that moment, on opposite sides but still rooting for each other [only a little]!”

Beyond their collegiate schedules, the two continued to push one another to bigger heights as members of Team USA. Lepage quickly climbed through the ranks of the Olympic Development Pathway while at Maryland, playing and touring for the U-21 USWNT from 2017-18 and the U.S. Women’s National Development Team in 2019. All the while, Hoffman, who joined the senior USWNT in 2017 as a junior at UNC, knew her long-time friend and motivator, was right behind her in pursuit of their joint dream.

“The two times we played one another, I was reminded of this once extreme rivalry by alumni and Coach Shelton,” said Hoffman. “I loved seeing articles and watching games of Kelee thriving in the college arena and on the Junior U.S. Women’s National Teams, knowing that we would one day play together again.”

Likewise, Lepage followed Hoffman’s career with the Tar Heels and senior USWNT. Their support for one another has never wavered, and finally came full circle earlier this year. After earning her spot on the USWNT in January, Lepage joined Hoffman on the same side of the pitch at Karen Shelton Stadium for the FIH Hockey Pro League match against The Netherlands. What was once a field that symbolized their collegiate competitive prowess was now one that marked a milestone for the two on January 26, 2020: the first international cap for Lepage and the first for Hoffman as captain of the team. Their paths, long removed from their days at Twin Valley, now reconnected on the highest level squad in the United States and felt exactly where the left off earlier this past decade.

“Although our journey after high school and through the pipeline looked different, we both remained dedicated to our dreams,” said Hoffman. “Kelee tried out and made the national team this past January and it was so incredible to see this goal of ours achieved. In Karen Shelton Stadium, Kelee earned her first international cap and I played my first game as team captain, so I hold that specific match very close to my heart despite the outcome. Kelee is one of the most driven and positive people I know and I couldn’t be prouder of her for forging her own way to the national team. I had no doubt in my mind that she could do it, and I have no doubt that she will be successful in the future.”

“I have learned a lot from Ashley in high school and in the few months we have been together since I joined the national team,” added Lepage. “Ashley is definitely a player I look up to on the team for guidance. She has already helped me grow on the international stage from our first FIH Hockey Pro League matches and in our recent training block in California. I admire her passion for aspiring to be the best player she can be and for being her true and honest self. I know that I can always count on her to hold me accountable. I am excited to be on this journey with her, knowing that she will push me to work hard and have fun, just as she did in high school!”

Whether they have lined up among the same squad, or locked stares from opposite sides before push back, Lepage and Hoffman have shared one of the rarest bonds over the past decade. A life-long bond carved from the love of the game and fueled by motivating each other each fall season to make their dream a reality.

USFHA media release

Germany-bound Okumu a Scorpions girl at heart


Strathmore University Scorpions' forward Gilly Okumu (left) celebrates her goal against JKUAT with teammates during their Kenya Hockey Union women's Premier League match on March 3, 2019 at the City Park Stadium in Nairobi. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kenya women’s hockey captain Gilly Okumu says she is at Strathmore University’s Scorpions to stay even after graduating in 2018.

Okumu said the varsity side had supported and groomed her into the player she is now after joining in 2014 from school powerhouse Sinyolo Secondary School.

“I don’t see myself playing for any other team locally if not Strathmore. It’s my second home and the best I can do even if I wear out is to help nurture and guide the upcoming players become better,” said the attacking midfielder who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management.

Okumu also revealed that she was supposed to fly out of the country last month to join German side Eintracht Frankfurt for a renewed three-month attachment but the plans were scuttled by the coronavirus restrictions that include ban on air travel.

“This would have been my third time going to Germany. The fact that they wanted my services once again speaks volume and I hope the coronavirus is curbed soon.

“The Germany League, which was supposed to start early this month, has also been shelved. I hope my experience playing in Germany will trickle down not only to my club but the national team as well,” said Okumu, who played for Scorpions in their last three matches of last season as the students finished third.

The side coached by Meshack Senge finished third behind United States International University -Africa (USIU-A) and regular winners Blazers formerly Telkon in last year's Premier League.

Senge said any player who had cleared studies at Strathmore was free to continue playing for the hockey team if she so desired.

“Once the player has graduated, and decides to stay with the team, the only thing that stops is the scholarship the university offered. But all other things including medical cover, facilitation and kitting continues,” said the former national men’s team coach.

Okumu was hopeful the Kenya women’s team would recover from their poor performance at the Olympic Games qualifiers in South Africa last year. Kenya finished fourth out of five participating nations.

“It was a relatively young squad with a bright future,” said Okumu.

Daily Nation

EuroHockey Championships 2021- UPDATED

The 2021 EuroHockey Championships (Men and Women) will take place on the following dates at the venues stated. Participating nations have qualified for each division based on their final ranking from the 2019 competition.

Men’s Championship *


Venue: Amsterdam (NED)

Dates: 20-29 August 2021

Men’s Championship II


Venue: Gniezno (POL)

Dates: 1-7 August 2021

Men’s Championship III


Venue: Lousada (POR)

Dates: 1-7 August 2021

Men’s Championship IV


Venue: Kordin (MLT)

Dates: 1-7 August 2021

Women’s Championship *


Venue: Amsterdam (NED)

Dates: 20-29 August 2021

Women’s Championship II


Venue: Prague (CZE)

Dates: 1-7 August 2021

Women’s Championship III


Venue: Lipovci (SLO)

Dates: 1-7 August 2021

*already announced
Important Notes:

  • As the Tokyo Olympic Games has been postponed we will advise of changes (if any) to the EuroHockey 2021 calendar once the new Olympic dates are announced.
  • In case of circumstances beyond EHF’s control, EHF reserves the right to reconsider the event dates.
  • For the Senior Championships tournaments, the arrangement of the pools will be the responsibility of the FIH (using the appropriate World Ranking positions on the moment the match schedules are prepared).
  • The withdrawal date for all tournaments in these competitions is 15 January 2021. Any National Association withdrawing after that date may be subject to a fine or other disciplinary action by EHF. See current EHF Regulations for further details.

EuroHockey Media release

EuroHockey Indoor Junior Championships 2021- UPDATED

The 2021 EuroHockey Indoor Junior Championships will take place on the following dates at the venues stated. Participating nations have qualified for each division based on their final ranking from the 2019 competition.

NOTE For the Junior Championship tournaments the composition of the pools will be the responsibility of the EHF and will be based upon the Indoor World Ranking of the participants’ senior teams (on the moment the match schedules are prepared).

Junior Men’s Championship

Teams:             AUT, CZE, ITA, POL, RUS, SUI, SVK, TUR

Venue:            Nymburk, Sportovní centrum (CZE)

Dates:              15-17 January 2021

Junior Men’s Championship II

Teams:             BLR, BUL, CRO, DEN, IRL, POR, UKR, WAL

Venue:            Paredes, Pavilhão Rota dos Móveis (POR)

Dates:              15-17 January 2021

Junior Women’s Championship

Teams:             AUT, BLR, CZE, POL, RUS, SUI, TUR, UKR

Venue:            Zurich, Saalsporthalle (SUI)

Dates:              22-24 January 2021

Junior Women’s Championship II

Teams:             CRO, IRL, ITA, SVK, WAL, SWE

Venue:            Sveti Ivan Zelina, Sport Hall “Sveti Ivan Zelina” (CRO)

Dates:              22-24 January 2021

Note: The withdrawal date for all tournaments in this competition is 30 June 2020. Any Nation withdrawing after that date may be subject to a fine or other disciplinary action by EHF. See current EHF Indoor Nations Regulations for further details.

EuroHockey Media release

Irish Women’s National Development Squad Program Update

The Easter and summer programme of development (U23) and U21 matches have been postponed or cancelled due the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic.  These included a trip to play Great Britain three times at Easter, a busy June period with warm weather camp in North Carolina which included 6 matches against the USA and a home 6 Nations Tournament (with Canada, Chile, Germany, India and Netherlands) at UCD. The EHF have now also confirmed the cancellation of their U23 six nations that was scheduled for Cardiff in mid August.

Commenting on the programme Head Coach David Passmore commented “while completely understandable given the current priorities we had put a lot of work into developing a programme for the year that would prepare a group to move into the senior squad post Tokyo.  The health of everyone is, and should be, our priority right now and these measures are appropriate.  The management team and I have been exceptionally impressed with the attitude of the athletes during the past 6 weeks and each has pushed hard to develop the physical side of their game under the auspices of our talented S&C Coach Orlaith Curran.  We will give the athletes a short break once the lock down is over and then hope to start preparing for some matches in the late autumn once we have the domestic calendar confirmed”.

The 6 Nations U23 tournament planned for UCD 20-27th June will now take place in June 2021 and all teams have indicated they would still like to take part.  The squad also plan to go to America in 2021 as was planned this year and discussions with US hockey are ongoing. With the Tokyo Olympics also moving by a year this will provide an ideal platform for development of this talented group of youngsters for the post games period.  An U21 team has also been entered into the Indoor Europeans set for Croatia in January which provides a further stimulus for the group.

Irish Hockey Association media release

How to Detect, Prevent and Manage Common Field Hockey Related Injuries

By Yuko Kimura, U.S. Women's National Team Medical Manager

Throughout the season injuries can be a constant annoyance during sports performance. With the proper knowledge, athletes can detect, prevent and manage common field hockey related injuries and U.S. Women’s National Team’s Medical Manager Yuko Kimura has outlined the most common below.

Low Back Pain
Groin Pain
Strain: Quads/Hamstrings

How to detect:

Athletes may experience tightness in high hip flexors (psoas major/minor muscles, iliopsoas or iliacus muscles), the hip area (hip rotators and abductors) and/or “groin” area (obturator internus/externus). If the tightness is with major muscle groups like quadriceps or hamstrings due to training, gym sessions or whatever the reason may be, you want to make sure it is not due to strain (muscle pull) type injuries. Typically, a strain can be noticed with the feeling of “pull” or “snap” or gradually accumulated tightness, which can be followed by pain during play or workouts.  Can you jog, run or sprint without pain or tightness after a long warm-up? That will be a question you want to ask to yourself. Tightness related to muscle soreness can be eliminated with a prolonged warm-up in most of the cases.

As a USWNT Medical Manager, daily maintenance treatment always start with a pelvic realignment check, then muscle imbalance check, if there is any, to release the imbalance and keep the balance of all muscles that connect to the pelvis to prevent injuries such as low back/groin pain or potential strain from happening. Obviously, injuries can happen no matter how hard one tries to prevent/detect the source of it. The concept is that when there are any limited movements at joints, the body still needs to function with the lack of actions (compensation starts to happen).

How to manage:

If the injury itself is related to structural damage, it needs to be healed with PRICE (protect, rest, ice, compression and elevation). If the condition is caused by muscle imbalance and detected at the early stage before it is severe, releasing the imbalance is the key point. Here are the some exercises to restore/maintain functional movements:

View Hip rotations:

View ITBand stretches

How to prevent:

The best way to prevent is to be proactive with proper warm-up and cool down and be mindful of your body.

Shin Splints

How to detect:

Athletes may report their pain or discomfort to the medical professionals. We may recognize abnormal movements such as limping around while the athletes are playing their respective sports. A few common causes of shin splints can be worn out running shoes, overtraining and frequent changes of playing surface area. Once shin splints are detected, assess the arch pattern (flat, neutral or high), gait and pain location (most likely the pain is caused by overworking for your body to absorb your weight and act as shock absorber). Good (newer) running shoes that are selected based on your arch type should act as shock absorber.

How to manage:

Pain location is typically inside of your shin and is sensitive to touch when it becomes more severe. The key is to check how tight the muscle is and to loosen it ASAP. You may roll on the bottom of the foot with a hockey/golf/lacrosse ball since the common muscle ( tibialis posterior muscle) that is often involved in this condition runs from the shin to the bottom of the foot. It can become a stress reaction/stress fracture if it’s left untreated. It’s also beneficial to rest and ice the area to calm the inflammation down.

How to prevent:

It is ideal to have a pair of running shoes that are chosen for your arch type and check your gait/running pattern since there are not such things for turf shoes. You want to make sure that the sole of the shoes are not worn out severely (you don’t want to wear shoes that are 2 to 3 years old) especially if you play the sport regularly and run frequently.

PFCS/PFPS (Patellofemoral Compression Syndrome/ Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome)

How to detect:

Athletes may report the front knee pain or pain around the patella (knee cap) with walking, running, squatting and lunging. It may cause a clicking feeling/sound as they walk, squat or run along with the pain. It is less common to cause this condition with direct trauma. Other causes can be muscle imbalance (i.e., tight ITband, quads, hip flexors and weak hip abductors and external rotators) and body structure (especially for females with greater Q-angle: wider pelvis than male). For the USWNT athletes, a full body screening (posture, structure, mechanical functions and muscle imbalance) is done to detect any objective evidence to find out what needs to be strengthened and released due to limited range of motion at certain joints.

How to Manage:

Typically, weak hip muscles (abductors, external rotators, hip extensors) and tight muscles are found at the front of the body (quads, ITBand and high hip flexors). A focus is then on full body function (core, upper in addition to lower body stability).

View Basic exercises:

How to prevent:

Routine exercises to maintain hip strength as well as full body stability. Proper warm-up and cool down with decent amount of stretches to maintain muscle balance. Wear protective gear around the knee if you tend to fall on your knees often.  

USFHA media release

National Volunteer Week – Feature Volunteer Alison Sweeten

By Joshua Rey

Field Hockey Canada is celebrating National Volunteer Week from April 19-25. This week, we will feature a few volunteers from across the country. Thank you for the many nominations from your communities. We are thrilled to have such a terrific cast of volunteers and staff from coast-to-coast. Please enjoy our National Volunteer Week series!


Today’s featured volunteer is Alison Sweeten of Victoria B.C. Sweeten is a dedicated and committed volunteer all over Vancouver Island. She takes on UM duties when necessary, works events of all levels, volunteers as an umpire, community mentor and tournament organizer.

Field Hockey Canada: How did you get into Field Hockey? Walk me through your introduction to the sport? Who or what introduced you and when?

Alison Sweeten: Grade 8, My PE teacher encouraged me to play on a junior team coached by Donna Shannon in the Port Alberni Ladies league.

Field Hockey Canada: Why field hockey? What makes field hockey so special? 

Alison Sweeten: It is a sport which has a strong component of women leaders in all aspects of the sport.  Coaches, administrators, umpires, technical officials and players have a high percentage of women in command which was great to see growing up in the sport. Also, it’s not just a young person’s sport – teams are composed of players with a wide variety of ages who all contribute to the success of the team.

Field Hockey Canada: What motivates you to volunteer?

Alison Sweeten: All of the positive role models I had as I grew up instilled the value of volunteering. It is about making the community you live and work in be the best it can be. I see high school coaches working to create a team and a competition, so it is important that I umpire those games to support their volunteer work.

Field Hockey Canada:Who is a role model in the community for you? Basically who motivates you and pushes you to volunteer?

Alison Sweeten: Many people have made an impact upon my field hockey career, but if I had to name three  who made a lasting impact they would be Jenny John, Pat Hall and Dennis McGeachy.

Field Hockey Canada: What is your favourite part about giving back to the field hockey community?

Alison Sweeten: Seeing the wide variety of people that I have met over the years. When I help out, I feel like my efforts are appreciated by the community. Coaches, players, parents and administrators have shared their appreciation over the years. If my work can help one person have a better day due to field hockey, then that is all I need.

Field Hockey Canada media release

England Hockey deeply saddened by the passing of Audrey Appleby

Audrey Appleby

England Hockey were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Audrey Appleby.

To list Audrey's achievements would not do justice to her incredible standing in the game for many years. She was one of the greats of English women's hockey from the middle second half of the last century.

A world-level umpire, she officiated at countless tournaments and also at the historic games at Wembley Stadium. She was an umpire, judge and technical delegate at numerous tournaments across the world.

Closer to home she was integral part of the All England Women's Hockey Association (AEWHA), as well as hockey associations in Middlesex, Wiltshire, the South and West where she served hockey in many capacities as well as being a mentor to many of the next generation of English umpires.

She spent almost 25 years at Ealing Ladies Hockey Club, including time as President, as well as a player, umpire and administrator before moving to Wiltshire where she joined Old Sarum HC.

Her standing in the game later led her to being named an Honorary Vice President of England Hockey.

A lady of incredible spirit, she summed up her career in a fascinating interview with the Hockey Museum which is online here.

She passed away aged 95 following a fall. England Hockey would like to pass on sincere condolences to her family, friends and teammates.

England Hockey Board Media release

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