New FIH Structure ApprovedRevised Statutes and Bylaws for the International Hockey of Federation, aimed at making hockey's ruling body more efficient in the new Millenium, were approved at the 36th. Statuary Congress of the FIH, held in Paris on November 25th, 2000. The changes see the FIH Council disbanded and a new Executive Board will come into being through elections at an Extraordinary Congress to be held in April 2001.
The structure of the FIH was the major issue addressed at the Paris Congress. For a long time, there had been a general feeling that the existing set-up was outmoded and in need of change. The chief concern was that the FIH was not as efficient as it might be, since much of the work of the Council and Executive Board is duplicated.
The Council of forty people has been meeting annually and the Executive Board four times a year. Yet several members of the Board were also Council members. The disadvantages of this duplication were raised in 1999 at the President's Forum of the Continental Hockey Federations.
A Working Group was established in Alexandria, Egypt in October 1999, to study the future structure of the FIH. The members of this important group were Tony von Ondarza (Venezuela), as chairman, Peter Cohen (Australia), Annabel Dillon (Singapore), Michael Krause (Germany) and Robert Watson (England).
Their findings were drafted and presented to the Executive Board in February 2000. Final proposals followed and were sent to the Executive Board and the Council in April 2000. The plans were further examined at an additional Council meeting held in Amsterdam in June 2000.
Once the Council had agreed the revised Statutes and Bylaws, they were forwarded tin September o all national hockey associations. The member associations took the opportunity for a lively and healthy debate at the Paris Congress before the changes were finally approved.
The key structural changes, that come about as a direct result of the Working Group's initial report, mean the Executive Board will now be composed of a total of twenty-one persons, compared to ten in the past, and Council has to be abolished. In accordance with the new Statutes and Bylaws, the Council was disbanded in Paris with immediate effect. The new Executive Board will be elected during an Extraordinary Congress which is to be held on April 21st, 2001, in Brussels.
The new structure
The new Executive Board of 21 persons will consist of:
Chairpersons of committees, if not elected, will become ex-officio members with voting rights. The first duty of the newly elected Board will be to appoint new committees, and these will be formed in close co-operation with the elected chairpersons. It was agreed that Congress will continue to be held bi-annually.
- The President, Honorary Secretary General and the Honorary Treasurer, as in the current structure. (It was agreed that these positions should include at least one male and one female).
- Two Vice Presidents will be chosen, and again it was decided that, to ensure a gender balance, one being male, one female,
- Five Continental representatives (one from each Continent)
- One athletes' representative.
- Ten elected Ordinary members (at least four male and four female).
Juan Calzado, the President of the FIH, took great pleasure in making the following presentations:
Pablo Negre Trophy:
Jointly to the Australian HA and the Australian Womens HA.
Ibrahim Almohandis (Egypt), Dr. L E Jubber (Namibia).
Diploma of Merit:
Evlyn Raistrick (Scotland), Dato Seri P Alagendra (Malaysia), Fumio Ogura (Japan).
Order of Merit:
Brenda Read (England), Robert Lycke (Belgium), Leandro Negre (Spain).
Fair Play Trophies:
Sydney Olympic Games: Women - Argentina. Men - Poland.
The following awards have been announced but have yet to be presented:
Pablo Negre Trophy:
Dr Shams-Uz-Zaman (Pakistan), Takafumi Ishomura (Japan).
Diploma of Merit:
Avtar Singh Solal (Kenya), John McBryde (Canada), Roger Webb (England).
Order of Merit:
Pam Tye (Australia), Kathleen Watson (Jamaica), Jimmy O'Connor (Ireland), Robert Watson (Great Britain), Alan Woods (USA).
Guust Lathouwers award:
Corinne Pritchard (New Zealand).
Super Fair Play Trophy:
Open Forum: Four year Strategic Plan spelt out
Dave Christison puts FIH officials under fire
An Open Forum was held in Paris on the day before the Congress. Hans Bertels, the FIH Executive Director opened the proceedings, presenting a four year Strategic Plan, the outcome of the foresight of the respective FIH Committees. Mr Bertels highlighted what he termed "Strategic Priorities":
Bertels then went on to highlight where progress must take place:
- Increased participation,
- The development of indoor and outdoor hockey,
- Improvement of the quality of coaching and umpiring,
- Making our sport more Television friendly,
- Improving Marketing, Merchandising and Promotion,
- Introducing Modern Technology,
- FIH becoming an efficient service provider.
The Executive Director finished his address by asking all national hockey association's to assist with a new project, to establish centrally a complete worldwide record of hockey statistics.
- The players - more input to the FIH committees by more of them,
- The events - a careful balance,
- The rules - keeping the characteristics,
- Umpiring - preparation and training,
- Equipment - setting standards,
- Medical - out of competition testing,
- Development & Coaching - Professional development assistance, Olympic Solidarity courses,
- Marketing & Communication - making use of new media outlets, partnerships,
- Finance - Prioritising and making choices, Development (Year of the Youth), Professional assistance, Data research,
The Open Forum continued with a spirited question and answer session which was led very professionally by the Australian broadcaster David Christison, a hockey enthusiast determined to make hockey's officialdom more aware of the opportunities open to our sport as the new millenium gets under way.
The leading officials of the federation were not spared as they had to field difficult questions posed by Christison and from some of the many people attending the forum. A stimulating and thought-provoking afternoon was rounded of by an ambitious display to launch the Year of the Youth.