Champions Trophy 2000 update: preparations in full swing

As expected, plans and preparations are running smoothly for the men's and women's Champions Trophies - named the Rabobank International Champions Trophy 2000, thanks to generous sponsor support. The event takes place from 26th May to 4th June in Amstelveen, the Netherlands.

Here is the latest news from the FIH and the organisers:

The Tournament Director for the men's event is Peter Cohen of Australia, and for the women's event, Evlyn Raistrick of Scotland will be in charge.

In the men's competition, it will be Great Britain rather than England participating. The change was made on the request of the GB Olympic Hockey Board and the English Hockey Association, to allow the GB team to also use this tournament as preparation for the Olympic Games. As you may know, during the Olympic Games, athletes from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are eligible to represent Great Britain. None of these countries compete separately during the Games.

The FIH International Player of the Year Awards 2000, which cover the calendar year 1999, are scheduled to be announced during the event (specific date to be decided).

According to the organisers, preparations for the event are in full swing. The layout of the Wagener Stadium Complex has been decided, and visitors can expect a setup comparable to the 1998 World Cup, held in Utrecht.

Various side-activities for all categories will be organised around the event including an extensive promovillage - the Hockey Plaza - which will offer shops, musical entertainment and high quality catering. In addition, a VIP-village - the Hockey Village - will be constructed, and adjacent to the Hockey Village, a Grand Café accessible to all spectators will be built.

The normal capacity of the WagenerStadium, 7.000 spectators, will be expanded by placing extra covered stands to bring the stadium-capacity to 9.000.

The pitch to be used for practice and warming up during the event, the so-called Sydney pitch as it is identical to the Sydney Olympic field of play, was scheduled to be ready in mid-March. During the Champions Trophy, a series of youth-activities will be organised on the adjacent sand-based pitch, the Shell Pitch to give hockey stars of the future a chance to show their talents during, amongst other activities, a mini-Champions Trophy.

On Tuesday May 30th, Rabobank and Heineken will organise a student-day, with approximately 2.000 students expected to attend. Rabobank support will enable holders of a Rabobank student-account to visit the Champions Trophy for a reduced rate. On the Sydney-pitch and the Shell Pitch the second edition of the Heineken five-a-side tournament will be played.

In August 1999 the KNHB started with a major national campaign for selling season- and day-tickets. The Dutch hockey-minded audience has responded in great numbers to the ticket-sale for this double Champions Trophy, which was held in 1987 in the Netherlands for the last time.The final days of the tournament and Tuesday May 30 (Netherlands - Germany, Men) are almost sold out. The organising committee, under guidance of Mr. Ruud Verbunt, has high hopes that the Wagener Stadium is sold out on a great number of days.

For all the latest news on the preparations of the Rabobank International Champions Trophy 2000 for men and women, please surf to the just released and brand NEW internet-site

Media inquiries can be directed to Arjen Rahusen, Press Officer Rabobank International Champions Trophy 2000, Trefpunt Sport and Leisure Marketing P.O. Box 818, 1200 AV Hilversum, Netherlands, e-mail: [email protected]