FIH 75th Anniversary

Please note this item was written as a preview to the FIH 75th Anniversary celebrations

A week of hockey action to commemorate FIH 75th Anniversary

The announcement of the first FIH International Players of the Year, two elite-level exhibition matches, the Mediterranean Cup, a special symposium on the Rules of the Game and a full agenda of meetings are all on the schedule of events commemorating the FIH's 75th Anniversary. These many activities will take place from 23-31 October in Alexandria, Egypt.

FIH International Player of the Year Awards - Hockey's top players will be honoured with the first-ever FIH International Player of the Year Awards, an exciting new initiative. The 10-member selection panel, consisting of coaches, athletes, umpires and members of the Media, are busy at the time of writing in examining the many nominations received from all five continents.

Players in contention for the men's award are: Jorge Lombi, Argentina; Jay Stacey, Australia; Magdi Ahmed Abdulla, Egypt; Russel Garcia, England; Jean Louis Ponthieu, France; Klaus Michler, Germany; Dhanraj Pillay, India; Seung Tae Song, Korea; Mirnavan Nawawi, Malaysia; Stephan Veen, Netherlands; Teun de Nooijer, Netherlands; Scott Anderson, New Zealand; Dr. Atif Bashir, Pakistan; Greg Nicol, South Africa; and Joaquin Malgosa Morera, Spain.

Players in contention for the women's award are: Alyson Annan, Australia; Rechelle Hawkes, Australia; Karen Brown, England; Nadine Ernsting-Krienke, Germany; Sophie Llobet, France; Pritam Rani, India; Eun Young Lee, Korea; Carole Thate, Netherlands; Sue Fraser, Scotland; Mandy Smith, New Zealand; Karen Roberts, South Africa, and Peggy Storrar, USA.

It should be noted that National Associations were permitted to nominate players from outside their own country, which accounts in some cases for multiple nominations from a single country.

The awards will be given during the official 75th Anniversary dinner on Tuesday, 26th October, and the winners will be publicly honoured between the two exhibition matches scheduled for Wednesday, 27th October. Judging criteria include: skill, technique and championships won, leadership qualities, impact on team performance, disciplinary record and involvement in hockey off the field of play.

The winners will receive specially-commissioned bronze statues depicting a male or female player in action. The statues were created by Dutch artist, Jannelies Raaijmakers-Vermeulen.

Exhibition matches - Another first that will take place in Alexandria are two elite exhibition matches to commemorate the 75th Anniversary. The World Champion Netherlands men's team will face a President's Select squad to be coached by Canadian National men's coach, Shiaz Virjee. And the World Champion Australian women's team will face a President's Select squad to be coached by former Great Britain women's Coach, Sue Slocombe.

Mediterranean Cup - The 2nd Mediterranean Cup, organised by the Egyptian Hockey Federation, is scheduled to be held during the week of the Anniversary activities. Confirmed to participate are: Croatia, Cypress, Egypt, Gibraltar, Greece and Malta. The organisers are also awaiting confirmation from France and Morocco, and once the field is finalised, the exact dates and match schedule will be made known.

Rules Forum - Representatives of FIH Member Associations, Committee members and others present in Alexandria will have the opportunity to participate in a Rules Forum being organised by Roger Webb, Chairman of the Rules Advisory Panel, as part of the Hockey Vision 2000 and Beyond initiative.

The primary aim of the Forum will be to broadly develop the future strategy and direction for the Rules of Hockey by: agreeing general principles with respect to development of the Rules taking into account the interests and concerns of relevant areas/committees, exploring possible goals to be achieved by the Rules, prioritising the goals and considering the means by which these goals might be achieved and in what acceptable timeframe.

The Forum is scheduled for 27th October.

Meetings - Meetings of all FIH Committees, as well as meetings of the Executive Board and Council, the President's Forum, the Rules Advisory Panel and the Hockey Rules Board will be held over the course of the week.