Across the international community, the past few months have been challenging for individuals, families, institutions, and companies. Emotionally, socially and economically, these are unprecedented times, with an uncertain future.
This is why it is important that, as an international federation, we now plan a strong and safe return for the entire global hockey community - players, coaches, officials, partners, and fans alike, when it's safe to do so.
We know that only a few things are under our control, but with so many uncertainties, the best way to feel that we can move forward as a global hockey family is to look at where we are, think about where we came from, and strive To build on our plans to build a structure. Sustainable fit for all.
If we are to research the positives of the current situation, working from home has given us the opportunity to step back from day-to-day operations and take a long and targeted look at our strategies and how you can adapt and innovate. Even hockey is a sport that has a sustainable future around the world.
One of the many things we have worked on is our exciting schedule of events, adapting it to the changes imposed by the Coronavirus, and the rescheduling of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Future prospects for the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup in Belgium in February next year is an event that fills the hearts of all hockey fans with joy. The fast-paced action and the opportunity to see some of the world's best indoor players in action is something that will brighten the sports calendar and put hockey in the spotlight.
We communicate regularly with the National Federations and Confederations to discuss organizational issues around the FIH 2021 Junior Hockey World Cup along with hosts South Africa (women) and India (men), the host nation of the Women's Hockey World Cup 2022 Netherlands / Spain Hockey World Cup 2023 Men, India.
Qualifying for the FIH 2022/23 Hockey World Cup was the focus of a major debate between FIFA officials and the confederations. Final details will be released in June once the format has been approved by the Executive Board.
Future FIH Hockey Pro seasons have also been the subject of much discussion between FIH and 11 participating countries. As reported on the FIH website, the Executive Board approved the proposal, agreed upon between the participating National Federations and the FIH Team, to extend the current season until June 2021, ensuring that all competing countries can complete your calendar.
In addition to planning future events, FIH also works with partners and stakeholders to develop and implement innovative strategies and new technologies to raise awareness of hockey and increase participation, but at the same time while considering the challenges of post-Covid19.
In this sense, one of the interesting initiatives that sprung from the FIH Academy team was the launch of online courses. At a time when it is difficult for athletes, coaches, and referees to gain practical experience and practical learning opportunities, this is an exceptionally useful development tool. Most training sessions are booked on the spot, which proves their relevance to our hockey workforce. Also Read: Did You Know About Underwater Hockey
The courses proved to be an immediate success with 22 workshops and training courses held throughout April and attracted more than 200 participants from 35 countries.
We've also launched a new membership plan: FIH World Hockey Membership. This is part of the Hockey Invites initiative and aims to attract more people to join our sport and take an active role. This paid membership system has several different classes: coaches, referees, and members, and each category has personal benefits, including discounts on FIH Hockey Academy courses.
With the Olympics moving into 2021, the next 18 months promise to be very busy. We are in constant discussions with our stakeholders to ensure that plans are in place to ensure all events run as smoothly as possible. We are also working hard with both the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee to support them in the rescheduling.
Of course, athletes and their well-being are central to everything we do, so the participation of the Athletes Committee in any decision-making process was of the utmost importance.
Although live hockey was not possible, it was great to see athletes from around the world sharing their training advice on social media using the hashtag #StayHomeStayStrong After removing geoblock restrictions on our FIH.live OTT platform, we also produced All-new programs that are now available for the world hockey family to enjoy. At the same time, our broadcast partners have made sure that hockey stays on our screens by allowing some images to be played back.
Play hockey games on TV and online in more than 200 countries. To both of our broadcast partners and our other business partners, we are very grateful for the support they have shown at this difficult time.
“These are tough times for everyone, and our primary concern at FIFA is for everyone in the global hockey community to remain safe and healthy at this time,” says International Hockey Federation Executive Director Thierry Weil.
“When we finally come out on the other side of this colossal challenge to humanity, the work of FIH staff, combined with the support of our partners and stakeholders, will ensure that we are all in the strongest position possible and ready to restart hockey. When it is safe to do so.”
The 47th FIH Statutory Congress is taking place from 19 May to 23 May 2021 at the in Delhi, India. More information coming soon.