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News for 21 November 2020

All the news for Saturday 21 November 2020

Wapda win 66th National Senior Championship

LAHORE - Pakistan WAPDA executed their plans well to win the 66th National Senior Championship 2020, outclassing defending champions National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) in the final on penalty shootouts at Ayub Park Mari Petroleum Hockey Ground Rawalpindi on Friday.

According to PHF spokesman, WAPDA adopted an aggressive approach right from the outset as they obtained three penalty corners in the first two quarters besides making five open attempts to score the goal. Penalty-corner specialist Aleem Bilal scored the first goal for WAPDA. Less than four minutes into the third quarter, WAPDA got a chance to increase their lead when they obtained a penalty stroke, but NBP goalkeeper Mazhar Abbas thwarted the attempt. A few minutes later, WAPDA missed another chance to score when Ijaz Ahmed failed to score.

NBP made a comeback in the fourth quarter and made several attacking moves to score the goal. Dilbar Hussain smacked the ball in for a goal to equalize the match. WAPDA showed aggression in the dying moments of the match but NBP foiled all their attempts to score a further goal. At the end of the fourth quarter, the match remained tied at 1-1. Ultimately, the match was decided on penalty shootouts, which was won by WAPDA 2-0.

Earlier in a third-fourth position match, SSGC routed Pakistan Navy 4-1. SSGC’s Mubasshar Ali scored two goals, while one goal each was scored by Ghazanfar and Ahmed Nadeem. The lone goal for the Navy was netted by Shehbaz Ahmed.

Speaking at the presentation ceremony, PHF Secretary Asif Bajwa thanked Mari Petroleum for cooperating to hold the event in a befitting manner. Chief guest MNA Amir Kiyani and PHF President Brig (r) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar gave away prizes to the winning teams. Winners WAPDA pocketed Rs 300,000 along with glittering trophy while runner-up NBP received Rs 200,000, SSGC Rs 100,000 and player of the tournament Rana Wahid Rs 50,000.

The Nation

Scottish North Conference offers a weekend of great contests

Gordonians men and women are playing catch-up against the North Conference pace setters as the men take on unbeaten Granite City Wanderers while the women are at home to high-flying Ellon. Both are six points in front of Gordonians with two games more played.

At the end of last season`s truncated national league season both sides finished near the top, but Gordonians were a division above. And in this season`s North Conference Gordonians have had good wins over Ellon and Aberdeen GS.

But Granite City men have made a solid start to the campaign with four straight victories and scoring 23 goals in the process – so they are on a bit of a roll. Recently it has been Meldrum MacKenzie and Mark Cooper who have been on target.

The other contest of the day pitches Ellon against Aberdeen Grammar School Former Pupils with both sides looking for their first points of the season.

Grammar`s James Williams expressed optimism after last week`s game against Granite City. “We are getting stronger every week, still have quite a few regulars missing so the kids are playing well.” And they only went down 4-3 in the end with John Dargie credited with a hat-trick – his first in ten years.

Saturday`s clash in the women`s North Conference between Gordonians and Ellon at Countesswells has an interesting feel about it. Most obviously, the former were in last season`s Premiership while the latter took the North District league by storm.

However, the North district sides are entering into the spirit of the conference competition by giving pitch time to youngsters. Rebecca Murray explained that after last weekend`s 2-1 defeat by Granite City Wanderers. “We were fairly pleased as we had lots of new and young players – it was a decent game overall.”

The outcome does leave Gordonians six points behind Ellon, although with two games less played.

In the opening game of the campaign Gordonians did beat Ellon 6-2. Despite the reversal, Ellon captain Louise Gordon remarked “It was a really good game, closer than the score line suggests, so Ellon heads are still up and raring to go again.”

And that they have done, with four straight wins to follow. And there is no shortage of goals in the process – a total of 20 in the five games to date with Nikki Kidd, Gracie Gray-Giles, Jenni Urquhart and Abby Wilson leading the pack.

This could be an intriguing contest.

The other game pitches Aberdeen University against a Granite City Wanderers side that got their first three points last weekend with a 2-1 win over Gordonians, Amy Ferguson and Jen Smith scoring after the visitor`s keeper had to go off injured.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Return to Hockey Update 20th November 2020

Hockey Ireland would like to thank all of our clubs for ensuring that Government imposed restrictions on our sport are being followed in order to contribute to the reduction of the spread of Covid-19.

While it is hoped that the Republic of Ireland will move to a lower Level of restrictions in the coming weeks, at this moment Hockey Ireland do not know what the next Level of restrictions on sport will be. Ulster Hockey is also carefully monitoring the situation in Northern Ireland.

The EYHL Working Group and the Board of Hockey Ireland have met this week and discussions have taken place in relation to returning to competitive hockey as soon as possible.

The EYHL working group has prepared three clear scenarios. The first and most positive option would be that we would be able to use two dates (the 12th and 19th of December) for EYHL rounds, but this is only possible if training can resume in early December.

The Board has given guidance to be as flexible as possible in the approach to the playing calendar.  The Hockey Ireland COVID-19 Group, which includes representatives of the Branches, will reconvene next week and discuss the various options and any feedback that the clubs may have is welcome through the Branches.

Where restrictions are not lifted for the Island of Ireland in the beginning of December, the two other scenarios would be to consider re-starting competitive hockey in early January or later in January. The option of a ‘curtailed’ season may also to be considered if the restrictions continue into 2021 or new restrictions are imposed later in the season.

We will keep you updated as soon as we have more information. In the meantime, Hockey Ireland would like to re-iterate to our members our desire to facilitate a return to competitive hockey as soon as it is possible to do so safely.

Old Alex celebrate Emma Russells opening goal

Irish Hockey Association media release

This is Not What We Wanted

Some days feel like they blend together. The clock ticks at a turtle’s pace and all we see are closures and postponements pile up. It has felt like uncharted territory for what seems like an eternity. As we slowly saw a light crack through the dark unknown, the pause button was pressed once more. There is no need for more metaphors to symbolize the collective disheartening. Forget the formality just this once – the bulk of 2020’s field hockey calendar, or lack thereof, can be summarized with a simple phrase:

This is not what we wanted.

We have all uttered this out loud and under our breath since the spring. We all miss the smell of the fresh fields, the warm turf, whistles and sideline chatter. We missed it so much it felt extra nauseating to have to pull the plug on returning to action in the eleventh hour.

It’s gone. Again. This is not what we wanted.

We are all frustrated, sad, some on the verge of tears between the two feelings. Safety is always important, we get it, but it’s okay to feel like this right now, next week and next month even. Don’t hold back - call it like it is.

This is not what we wanted.

While the wait continues to safely return to programming and competition it’s important to remember a few things:

First, breathe. This break from action will pass. For the time being, breathe in deep through the nose and out through the mouth. Let the storm calm in your head and be thankful for your health as we get ready to hunker down again. Seasons and practices may not have happened, those experiences torn away from teams around the country. You are not alone, but the day will come when the umpire blows the whistle once more to start the clock.

It’s all too easy to let emotions get the better of you right now. There is no clear answer to the uncertainty, but as outlined previously, you can’t control the uncontrollables. The pandemic cannot take away the support between your teammates and coaches, no matter how far apart you may be.

If you have been one of the lucky few to have played through a restricted season in 2020, reflect on being grateful for the immeasurable efforts to make it happen safely. If you are one of the many that still waits to return to full practice or game days, it’s okay to feel empty, angry or jealous. Your time will come again to suit up and sprint down field for real.

We all miss you. We all feel the anxiety. We all share in the same mindset: this is not what we wanted. But, we are in this together.

We cannot wait to see you all again. Until then, be safe, be smart and be well.

USFHA media release

“Playing with experienced players has taught me a lot,” Jyoti

Bengaluru:  At 20, Jyoti is one of the star prospects of the Indian women’s national team. She believes that consistently playing, living and training with experienced players has taught her a lot.

“I am delighted to be a part of this wonderful group of women. I think with the amount of experienced players we have, it has certainly benefited me. I am always looking forward to gaining what I can from these players, both on the field and off it. It is a brilliant time to be a women’s team player in India, because of the kind of exposure we are getting due to Hockey India’s support and vision for us, and also because of what we are trying to build here under Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne,“ said the youngster, who is currently at SAI Centre, Bengaluru.

Having played 12 International matches so far since first playing in April 2019, Jyoti is a talented forward who likes to make in runs into the opposition circle, and is often seen on either flank. The Indian Railways player is keen to learn from stalwarts like Vandana Katariya and captain Rani.

“I believe it is a fantastic opportunity for me to grow and grow quickly because I’ve got so many world-class Forwards in my team here. With Vandana, Rani, Navjot, Navneet, I have a strong group of players who believe in my abilities and always help in all aspects of my play. When I step onto the field, I know that with the kind of players I’m playing with, we will be able to create a lot of chances and also convert them, even against the world ranked top teams,” expressed Jyoti, who was also a part of the team that won two matches and lost one match against the hosts during their tour of Republic of Korea in May 2019.

Jyoti also believes that the lockdown period has helped her in feeling more settled in the Senior Team set-up, and has produced the opportunity for her to work on key areas.

“I am aware that people around the world have suffered a lot because of the pandemic, and my condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one. However, for me, personally I have focused on the good things about the opportunity I have here with the Women’s Team. I have been able to speak a lot to my Coaches in Sjoerd and also Janneke, who have been able to highlight key areas where I need to improve, and to make sure I can be challenging regularly for a spot in the team. It has definitely been a fruitful phase for me, and I am focusing on working hard throughout this time, and making sure I improve everyday,” signed off

With inputs from Hockey India


Athlete Spotlight: Laura Hurff

Each athlete that wears the red, white and blue has a unique story to how their careers came to fruition. From the junior level to the senior squad, USA Field Hockey is putting national team athletes under the spotlight to share their journeys.

Some of life’s most difficult choices come in the form of sport. Any athlete of any age or skill level may experience it, including Laura Hurff, whose choices at each fork in the road conclusively landed her on the U.S. Women’s National Team.

From 2014-17, Hurff started 78 of 82 games for Syracuse University’s midfield while simultaneously carving her way through the U.S. Women’s Olympic Development Pathway. By this point, the Newark, Del. native had come a long way since the days of battling on the pitch for Ursuline Academy, where she was a multi-sport athlete across field hockey, lacrosse and basketball.

Hurff heavily favored the first two sports for a number of reason and was one of her first tough choices in mapping out her athletic future. Fortunately, she had her mother to offer a little life-changing advice as a former collegiate athlete herself.

“I was debating between field hockey and lacrosse for a long time because I absolutely loved lacrosse,” said Hurff. “However, my freshman year of high school my mom knew it was time I had to make a decision between the three sports I played of which one I wanted to play in college. She wanted me to pick one sport so we could join a club team and told me to pick the sport that I first think about and want to play when I wake up in the morning. The summer going into my sophomore year I decided that sport was field hockey for so many reasons. One reason being that it is a game of mistakes and no one person can be absolutely perfect at it. I also picked the sport because it was a chance for me to potentially one day become an Olympian which I had always dreamed about.”

Despite ultimately choosing field hockey as her primary focus, Hurff was also a four-year member of Ursuline Academy’s varsity basketball and lacrosse teams. On the pitch she earned MVP honors in 2012 and 2013, was named best player of the Catholic Conference her senior season and earned multiple First-Team conference and All-State honors. She also honed her field hockey skills as a member of WC Eagles and X-Calibur clubs.

“Both club teams helped me grow into the player I am today and made it possible for me to earn a scholarship to college,” added Hurff. “I met amazing people along the way from both clubs.”

Facing another choice as her collegiate years approached, Hurff had pinned down her choices between Princeton University and Syracuse University. A fateful meeting between her family and the Orange’s Head Coach Ange Bradley made Hurff’s decision all the sweeter.

“When in my meeting with Ange, my mother told Ange her maiden name was Detar and how she had won a national championship for lacrosse at the University of Delaware,” recalled Hurff. “I will never forget how Ange reacted. ‘You are LINDA DETAR!’ We learned that she had actually been to a few of my mother’s games in college with her father and she was there when my mom’s team won the first-ever National Championship in the Division I program for Delaware’s lacrosse team.”

Hurff had always looked up to her mother as an inspiration and wanted to be just like her in winning a NCAA National Championship someday. At the time, Syracuse had yet to capture such a title in field hockey. She told Bradley she wanted nothing more than to be a part of history and help the Orange to the top of the Division I world.

“Luckily my sophomore year we won the National Championship so my dream came true to be just like my mom,” continued Hurff. "Also, the girls were honest with me when I was visiting that it would not be easy at that school, but each of them believed in the program and believed in winning the title and that drove me toward the school even more.”

Although she has experienced being a champion, Hurff like many young athletes, was no stranger to the ups and downs of competition. This is true even when she was a high school athlete named to the U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team in 2013. Later on her name was not called for the U-19 USWNT, which she used as motivation to make the next time around count. Each following year she moved up the ranks before being named to the senior USWNT in 2018. She recorded her first international cap in February of that year against Canada.

“My first international cap was terrifying and thrilling all at the same time,” said Hurff. “I just remember thinking to myself that field hockey on the U.S. National Team is way different even than the college level. Everyone is just as fast if not faster than you and more than likely has been playing field hockey just as long or longer than you. The FIH Hockey Pro League has been one of the best experiences of my life. I have been given the opportunity to do what I love and travel the world and experience a variety of cultures all at the same time.”

By 2019, Hurff had appeared in 23 international competitions before electing to play overseas in Australia. In 2020 she represented the red, white and blue not just in the second season of FIH Hockey Pro League but also on the Indoor USWNT in the Rohrmax Cup in Vienna, Austria. Since then, she has been training individually like most of the USWNT as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to disrupt return to play opportunities.

“Training through the pandemic has definitely been a rollercoaster ride,” noted Hurff. “In the beginning we all believed we would only be away for a bit so pushing ourselves in training was a bit easier. But as we continuously had our start date pushed back, the lack of motivation began to set in. Luckily, I have some amazing teammates who helped me through these times and we were able to continuously push each other through the rocky moments. We have been given a little freedom now in terms of joining gyms or certain groups to train with. Staying connected to my teammates through this pandemic has absolutely helped me mentally.”

This sport has given me the chance to go to college without having to stress which I do not think would have been possible without this sport. It has allowed me to meet incredible people along the way and grow into a person I would not be without it.
Laura Hurff

USFHA media release

Taking a shared interest in the Year of the Youth

On World Children’s Day, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) is launching the Year of the Youth, to inspire young people into the sport, help them achieve their potential and celebrate their successes at every level of the game.

Working with continental federations and national associations, the FIH will be providing support and guidance; promoting awareness and highlighting examples of great practice within individual national associations; and implementing annual projects aimed at aiding development.

Fitting neatly within the FIH objective ‘To inspire hockey’s next generation’, the Year of the Youth is a global drive to grow and develop the game for the next generation of our hockey community. The programme is led by the FIH Development and Education Committee and the FIH Academy’s army of trainers, educators and experts will be on hand to provide the necessary support and guidance.

Although 2021 is the Year of the Youth, this marks just the start of a long-term drive to encourage young players to take up hockey and then retain those players in the game.

Not only does the concept of the Year of the Youth support the FIH strategic plan to raise the global profile of hockey and attract more participants – both players and work force – but it is also will provide national associations with the opportunity to raise interest among the public, media, sponsors and national government.

Annual development programmes are key to the growth and development of the sport and this is something the FIH will be driving forwards, while emphasising the need for investment in young people to help them achieve their potential within the sport and as human beings.

A global project underpins the concept of the Year of the Youth. Titled, Start:Play:Stay, the FIH will work with continental federations and national associations to plan their own strategies to grow the game; provide access to projects and ideas which can be adopted for use; and enable national associations to access equipment and resources where needed.

The growth in digital education and learning in recent months has shown just what can be achieved with access to online information. As part of the Year of the Youth initiative, FIH has developed a Grow Hockey Guide, which provides advice and concrete ideas on how to develop the game within an individual country, taking into account their own range of resources and facilities. For example, in many countries, beach hockey may be a route to encouraging new participants into the game. For others, the small sided version of the game may be appropriate. This guide will help with setting up appropriate activities at the right stage of development.

At the heart of the initiative is a willingness to work together. Whether that is national associtations sharing information and resources with another nation, a school or club sharing with a national association, or any other number of permeations – the key is a sharing approach.

The Year of the Youth will also align with internationally significant days, such as Olympic Day, or indeed World Children’s Day.

“The FIH Development & Education Committee (DEC) is extremely excited be leading the 2021 Year of the Youth to create and celebrate how our sport can positively impact the lives of young people across the globe. The DEC hope that this second edition, coming 20 years on from the very first Year of the Youth, will shine a light on the brilliant efforts of clubs, schools, National Associations and other public and private organisations to grow our fantastic sport.” Tayyab Ikram, Seif Ahmed – Co-Chairs FIH Development & Education Committee


FIH site

Sports tourism set to grow in Barbados

Sarah Juggins

“There is no better place to play hockey than Barbados,” says national team player Justin Catlin. “The culture, the atmosphere, how hockey is viewed. It is a perfect place to watch and play hockey.”

It might not be a power house of hockey, such as PAHF hockey giants Argentina, Canada or even near neighbours Trinidad and Tobago, but Barbados has a small but very passionate community of hockey players and supporters. It is a country where hockey matters.

In August, as the world retreated in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, Barbados managed to hold its annual hockey festival. Operating under very different conditions, the determination to hold the festival highlighted the deep level of resolve among the committed band of hockey enthusiasts in the Caribbean island.

It is not purely about growth and development of the sport. There is a bigger picture to look at here. Hockey plays a vital role in the national economy.

Speaking to national media outlet, The Nation Barbados, President of the Barbados Hockey Federation Mark St Hill said: “I don’t think people understand what hockey has done for sports tourism. Outside of cricket, there is no other sport that has brought more touring teams here.”

He explained, in a normal year, up to 10 school teams visit the island for a dose of competitive hockey in a glorious sunny environment. That brings the tourist dollar into the country. The national association want to move this to the next level and encourage North American and European elite level teams to see Barbados as a great base for warm weather training.

The one barrier to this ambition is the lack of an elite level infrastructure. St Hill explained how the Barbados Olympic Association and PAHF have stepped up to support the national association’s drive to improve the facilities on offer.

To “break ground by the end of the year”, is the hockey association’s ambition and St Hill has a rallying call for the hockey community. Via the interview, which can be viewed on the Barbados Hockey Association Facebook page, he explained that the Board will be concentrating on delivering the facilities, it was up to the coaches and captains to ensure the players were ready to commence training and playing.

It is a call that Justin Catlin as a player, coach and aspiring sports marketer is answering.

“I started hockey at school,” he says as he explains how his love for the sport has developed. “I was a football player but I was persuaded by my school coach to give hockey a go. To start with, I grumbled and grumbled but then I started to enjoy it. I loved the speed and skill and I started to try some different tricks. I already had the understanding of attacking and defending principles because of the football, so transferring my skills and knowledge from one sport to another was not a problem.”

Hockey in Barbados is played through club, school and university teams, with tournaments and leagues. Alongside regular 11-a-side hockey, both 7-a-side and indoor hockey is popular, as it encourages variety and diversity in the sport.

Recently a new sand based field hockey turf has been reestablished at the national field hockey centre located at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex at Wildey.

Catlin himself was a beneficiary of the first hockey scholarship to be awarded by the University of the West Indies. He studied at the University’s Cave Hill campus, combining studies with his hockey commitments, representing both the university team and the national U21 side.

His first major international experience was the 2012 Junior Pan American Championship in Guadalajara, Mexico, where Barbados finished mid-table. He was selected for the senior team the following year and has continued to play for Barbados ever since.

The national team trains four or five times a week and, while this year’s international calendar has been suspended, Catlin and his colleagues have continued to do what they can in readiness for the resumption of competition next year, including the Pan American Cup.

In a world where hockey has to fight for support, it is heartening to hear Catlin being fulsome in his praise of both the Barbados Olympic Association and the Barbados Hockey Association. Both organisations, he says, are hugely supportive of the Junior Men’s and Women’s national teams.

“Even through periods of recession, and even when, for a couple of seasons we didn’t have a turf to play on, they still helped us with necessary funding to keep training and playing.”

Catlin himself has played league hockey in England after a chance meeting with some players from Wakefield. Some of the squad were touring Barbados and Catlin was recruited to play alongside them. Catlin impressed, particularly with his ability to create goal scoring opportunities at will, and soon the Barbadian was on his way to Wakefield in the north of England.

The move coincided brilliantly with Catlin’s career plans. As part of his scholarship – a Bsc Management Special with Marketing – Catlin was able to study an aspect of business anywhere he wanted. The move to England brought three benefits: he was able to develop his knowledge of sports marketing; he had the honour of meeting and playing for Olympian and coach Norman Hughes who coached at Wakefield Hockey Club; and he had the opportunity to coach and play hockey in a totally different environment, thereby increasing his own knowledge base of the game.

At Wakefield, Catlin developed both his playing skills and awareness of just how a sport can be grown with a plentitude of resources. On returning to Barbados, he has set himself the challenge of being a leader in the field of hockey growth and development. He sees coaches, such as himself, being responsible for teaching children the skills, knowledge and love of the game. Providing the competitive opportunities, in the form of tournaments and competitions is the remit of the national association.

The pandemic has put a pause to many hockey activities, but Catlin, like so many other coaches, has used the opportunity to brush up on off-field coaching knowledge, attending webinars and online courses in a range of coaching and organisational skills.

For St Hills’ vision of placing Barbados as a major sports tourism destination to come true, the national association needs people such as Catlin to throw their energy and innovation at the challenge. Luckily, Catlin’s ambitions mirror those of his sport. “My ultimate dream is to be a sports marketer, inviting teams to come to Barbados to play sport. Sports tourism could be huge. It is something that will generate money and interest in Barbados.”

Currently, Catlin works for a major shipping company and is also a sponsored player and Regional Brand Ambassador for Kuka Hockey in Barbados and the Caribbean.

He says: “In the future, I can use the logistical skills and networks I have picked up both as a shipping agent and hockey player/coach, and transfer them to moving people instead of ‘things’ as the sports tourism industry grows.

“But my heart is also in junior coaching. I love teaching kids and developing them. I have really found myself in that environment. They are the future of hockey and it is crucial that they learn skills early and, importantly, they have fun.”

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

Henchy named Leinster’s October Volunteer of the Month

Adrian Henchy, left, following Portrane cup success.

Adrian Henchy has been selected as the Leinster Hockey Volunteer of the Month for October for his superb work in north county Dublin to bring hockey to the heart of the Donabate community.

A member of Portrane Hockey Club from the first time he picked up a hockey stick, Adrian has been with the club as it moved from home to home from St Ita’s Hospital to RCSI to ALSAA in the search of a permanent location.  

In the mid 2000s, Adrian saw an opportunity with the growing population in the Donabate area to relaunch the club by showcasing the sport to the new families in the area in particular by focusing on the youth section.  

By working tirelessly with local community groups, the ETB and Fingal County Council, he was instrumental within the club in getting a state of the art water-based pitch built in the grounds of the new Community School and getting access to top class indoor hockey facilities in the Donabate Community Centre.

Club Secretary Anita Patterson added: “thanks to Adrian’s tireless work, the club now has access to facilities that are the envy of many which has enabled the club grow beyond our expectations.  

“Portane Hockey Club currently has six senior teams and hope to add a fourth ladies team in the coming season along with a thriving junior section for both girls and boys”.  

In announcing the award, Leinster Hockey’s Development Officer Fiona Walshe also thanked him for his foresight in starting the Under 14 Boys & Girls Indoor Tournament which is now a staple event in the Leinster Hockey Calendar.

Leinster Hockey Chairman, Trevor Watkins congratulated Adrian saying: “it was a deserved recognition for both Adrian and Portrane Hockey Club on the work they had done over the last number of years building up the club and putting in the structures that would ensure it would continue to grow”.

The Hook

Thirteen ponies turn up unexplained on Dutch hockey pitch

A groundsman at Were Di Tilburg was shocked to discover 13 ponies on the pitch as he turned up for his morning’s worked.

The highly unusual sight of the four-legged animals were discovered on the outfield on Friday morning with the gates locked – suggesting that it was a deliberate act – before the police were called.

According to hockey.nl, club chair Fabienne van Engelen received a message saying: “We have thirteen new four-legged members. I just think they can’t play hockey very well and they aren’t that fast either.

“We gave them buckets of water. And some food to lure them. The ponies looked good and were tame.”

It was only when the men in blue turned up was it realised that the ponies had been temporarily put on the pitch by the police themselves after they had been spotted roaming the streets the previous night.

The ponies had been lost for two days once the owner had been located.

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The Hockey Paper

Ernie Wall OBE

Scottish Hockey is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Ernie Wall OBE and our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Ernie’s contribution to hockey is huge, not just in Scotland but on the international stage – so much so he was awarded the OBE for services to Scottish and international hockey in 1982.

Ernie’s career in hockey spanned for more than 70 years. A former player at Inverleith Ernie became an international umpire in the 60s. In the early 70s Ernie was the first umpire to be appointed to an international indoor event, and was a driving force behind indoor hockey for the FIH.

The amount of international appointments Ernie had is exceptional; he was appointed as a Tournament Official to European Cups, Champions Trophies, the Azhlan Shah Tournament and annually at least one Indoor tournament – at club and international level, for both men and women.

Major tournaments include men’s Champions Trophy in 1984 in Karachi, Pakistan; 1985 in Perth, Australia; and 1989 in West Berlin, West Germany; as well as the men’s Hockey World Cup in 1994, Sydney.

He was an outstanding administrator at national and international levels and was on the International Rules Board for 30 years.

Evlyn Raistrick worked with Ernie on the rules board and said, “I loved him to bits. Working with him on the rules board and ultimately writing the rules of hockey that everyone in the world now plays to is really something incredible.

“He had such a meticulous memory and knew everything there was to know about Scottish hockey. It’s no wonder he was a big part in writing the history of Scottish Hockey – if you ever wanted to know your history, pick someone’s brains on something, or find something out, Ernie was your man. There was nothing better than picking up the phone to Ernie, I miss him.”

Hockey was always important to Ernie, even during war time when he was stationed in Palestine in 1940 – 41 where he played hockey with Sikh Regiments also stationed there at the time.

Ernie also had a keen interest in the history of hockey, and collecting hockey stamps became his hobby many years ago. The collection that started with a stamp produced in 1951 in Hiroshima, Japan and commemorates many Olympic Games, World Cup, European Cups and some Club Tournaments. The final stamp in the collection is from the FIH Indoor World Cup in Poznan, Poland in 2011.

In 2011, Ernie donated his collection to the European Hockey Federation (EHF). The collection, which is at EHF offices in Brussels, can be seen by appointment through the EHF offices.

He also wrote a document on the separate history of the rules of indoor hockey in November 2000, and was co-author of 100 Years of Scottish Hockey.

EHF President, Marijke Fleuren said “I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Ernie Wall OBE. Ernie was a much-loved servant of hockey, using his expertise in the indoor game to develop the strength of the indoor game in Europe.

“To us, Ernie always felt like the grandfather of the EHF. He continued to be interested in what was going on in the EHF long after his retirement. Indeed, when he couldn’t join us for any event, he always made a point of sending his apologies.

“We were really delighted in 2011 when he donated his impressive stamp collection to the EHF. It sits proudly in its bespoke cabinet in the office and is much admired by visitors to the office. His lifetime work showcases the time and energy and his level of devotion to hockey, we will treasure that and the memories of a wonderful man. I extend the sincere condolences of the EHF to his family at this time.”

Robin McLaren, Chair of Scottish Hockey, who knew Ernie very well as he was a lifelong friend of his father, said “He will be sadly missed across the international hockey community. Ernie started playing for Inverleith HC in the early 1950s and was the first to be inducted to the Inverleith HC Hall of Fame.

“However, his real contribution to the sport was his membership and leadership of the FIH rules committee, where throughout his 30 years on the committee he radically transformed the sport and created the modern game of hockey, as we know it. We have a lot to thank Ernie for.

“My lasting memory of him is watching the final of the Olympic hockey tournament together in Montreal in 1976. We will miss his knowledge, vision and great company.”

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Obituary: Helen Morgan

Helen Morgan

Great Britain Hockey are very sad to hear that Olympic bronze medal winner Helen Morgan (Grandon) has passed away aged 54.

Helen was part of the first ever GB women’s squad to win an Olympic medal, playing in the bronze medal match as the team overcame Korea 4-3 to secure the silverware at Barcelona ’92.

Having been introduced to the sport aged 13, it was immediately clear just how talented a goalkeeper she was and just a few months later Helen made history by becoming the youngest ever player to play in the European Club Championships.

Alongside her Olympic bronze medal, Helen represented GB and Wales on numerous occasions and was helped Swansea City to six national titles in Wales.

Shortly after the Barcelona Olympics, Helen was then scouted by the Welsh women’s football team and made the transition over to that sport, captaining the team for two years.

After her playing career came to an end, she then dedicated her life to giving something back to hockey as a teacher and also helped coached the Welsh goalkeepers for 10 years.

Our thoughts are with Helen’s family and friends at this time.

Click here to read and watch an interview Helen gave about her career with People’s Collective back in 2014.

Great Britain Hockey media release

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