Continental Reports

African Hockey Federation

The African Hockey Federation held its four-yearly Congress during the All Africa Games in September. Mr. Gamal Shirazi (Egypt) was elected as President and replaced Mr. Hardial Singh Khular, who sadly passed away last year. Steve Jaspan, who had been serving as interim President, was elected as Senior Vice President. (Please see "Notes and News" for others elected to posts in the AHF.)

The following information has been extracted from the AHF general report to the Congress.

The encouraging signs of growth and development in African Hockey over the past four years but especially since the last Council Meeting in Namibia give much hope for the future. The many activities planned for the next four years and the clear signs of the improved standard of African Hockey make the prospects exciting. This can only be achieved if all the nations and officials work in a unified and harmonious manner to constructively build on the solid foundations established

Working in conjunction with the FIH and other Continental Federations an updated Constitution has been prepared bringing the AHF in line with other Continents such as the Asian Hockey Federation. The AHF Congress will be required to ratify the updated Constitution.

The president, Honorary General Secretary and Executive wish to thank the Committees and in particular their Chairpersons for their work over the past four years, as well as the officials who generously give their time to promote hockey.

5 Year Plan - A 5-year Plan for the AHF was prepared two years ago and we are very much on track with many of the goals set for African Hockey. However, these goals need to be reviewed and more energy poured into reaching some vital milestones. Additional finance is necessary to ensure that Committees can meet more frequently and the roving ambassadors can travel more widely.

Competitions - During the past year a number of successful tournaments have been held on the African Continent The All Africa Games were held in Johannesburg from 8-18 September 1999. South Africa were victorious in both the men's and women's competition and thus qualify automatically for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Also, the Africa Cup for Club Champions (11th for men and 3rd women) was successfully held in Windhock, Namibia between 18 and 25 October 1997.

The South African Women's team won the 3rd Africa Cup for Nations in Harare between 7 and 13 November 1998 beating Kenya in the final and thus qualifying for the 2002 World Cup in Perth, Australia. Cape Town (South Africa) hosted the boys Under 18 African Cups, which were both won by South Africa in well-organised tournaments between 11 and 15 August 1998.

Development & Coaching - Avtar Singh (Kenya) a member of the AHF DCC who also serves on the FIH DCC ran a successful course in the Seychelles during May of this year. He was also to conduct an Olympic Solidarity course in Uganda in August of this year.

The vision of roving ambassadors is now very much a reality with Gill Taylor (South Africa) concentrating on the southern part of Africa, Avtar Singh (Kenya) on Central Africa and Mohi Zaghloul (Egypt) on the Arabic countries of North Africa.

Financial assistance from Mr Coen Teulings (Belgium) and support form the FIH and the Development and Coaching Committee chaired by Theo Ykema were much appreciated in the efforts to develop African Hockey. The distribution of hockey sticks and balls, coaching information and manuals continued and the FIH/IOC's efforts in helping financing an artificial surface in Accra (Ghana) will do much to develop the game in that part of Africa.

Coaching manuals, rulebooks and other information has been obtained particularly via the South African Hockey Association and has been distributed to countries on request.

Umpiring - As encouraging as the activities in the development and coaching sphere has been the enhanced attention give to umpiring and technical matters on our Continent. However, there is still the need to develop more umpires and technical officials.

The assistance from the FIH Umpiring Committee and its Chairman, Graham Nash was evident in Horacio Servetto's trips to Africa to assist in Umpire Coaching and grading especially at the Africa Cup for Club Champions in Namibia and at the Invitation tournament in Cairo.

Already the enthusiastic efforts of the Committee are bearing fruit with courses held last year at the ACCC in Namibia with Ray O'Connor (Ireland) in attendance. Gavin Cullen (South Africa) holding a course in Malawi in April this year and an umpire's coach seminar planned during the All Africa Games. Gavin Cullen travelled to Tanzania last year to conduct an umpires course.

Facilities and Equipment - Once again, hockey sticks and balls were obtained for distribution to needy countries and communities.

The FIH.IOC project to construct an artificial hockey pitch in Accra, Ghana came to realisation in June this year. This will be a tremendous boost for West African hockey.

New pitches were being planned in Egypt, Malawi, South Africa and Namibia and the need to replace the old carpet (surface) in Nairobi, Kenya is very urgent.

Historic Endnote - The FIH will celebrate its 75th Anniversary in Alexandria, Egypt in October of this year. The fact that the celebrations will occur on the African continent is historic and a great honour not only for African Hockey but also for Egypt. Seif Eldine Ahmed, Egypt, the AHF Honorary Treasurer is on the FIH Organising Committee.

Asian Hockey Federation

20th South East Asia Games - This tournament was held in Brunei Darussalam from 5-14 August 1999. Brunei can take pride in hosting its first international hockey on a Regional basis in its beautiful artificial surface hockey stadium. In September 1999, this stadium would be the venue for a veterans tournament, both men and women, from various parts of the world. Certainly, a positive signs in terms of development of the game.

The final ranking of the teams in the 20th SEA Games was as follows: Men - 1. Malaysia, 2. Singapore, 3. Indonesia, 4. Thailand, 5. Brunei; Women - 1. Malaysia, 2. Singapore, 3. Thailand, 4. Brunei

Asia Cup. The Tournaments for the Asia Cup would be held as follows: Men, 18-28 November 1999 at Lahore, Pakistan and Women , 1-10 December 1999 at Delhi, India. Please see "For the Record" for participating teams.

The following tournaments are also being planned: Boys U-16, Singapore in 2000; Girls U-16, Hong Kong, China in 2000; Men's & Women's Junior Cup, Malaysia in 2000; Boys & Girls U-18, Pakistan.

Development Plans - Priority and positive action is being given to the development of the game. There are positive signs and renewed interest and enthusiasm for the development and promotion of hockey in Philippines, Myanmar, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Iran and a few other countries in Asia. The setting up of the Regional Co-ordination Plan for Development should see the game being played more extensively.

The Coaching Development Charts have been distributed widely to Affiliates and at Meetings and Tournaments. The usefulness behind this production is appreciated by the recipients.

The AHF DCC has initiated action on a number of projects. These projects would be closely supervised to ensure maximum results

Other Plans for 1999 - An Umpiring Course in Bangladesh, A Youth Camp, Equipment Aid Plan and Coaching Courses are amongst the activities being planned for the remaining months in the year.

The AHF Medical Committee, with Dr. Ramlan Aziz (MAS) and Dr. Teoh Chin Sim (SIN) at the helm have plans to organise Seminars and Workshops to ensure that the legal and ethical considerations on all procedures concerning Doping Control are strictly and fastidiously adhered to all times. It is felt that this is necessary especially that several countries in Asia are likely to organise international tournaments.

European Hockey Federation

General Assembly - The 16th General Assembly of the European Hockey Federation was held in Cyprus on Saturday the 5th of June. Delegates from 33 Federations (76% of total Membership) were in attendance.

The following members were re-elected for a further 4 years: Alain Danet, President, Morley Pecker, Hon. Treasurer, Jorge Alcover, Monika Spork, Sergio Melai, Members. (Please see Notes and News for other election results.)

AstroTurf, IBM, Mercian and Jorge Alcover - Olympic Solidarity, made presentations during the afternoon session.

Offers to host the 17th General Assembly were received from Belarus, Malta, Lithuania & Poland. Following a vote Malta were awarded the 17th General Assembly to be held in Valetta on the 9th of June 2001.

Competitions - The EHF Club Competitions were held in May with 27 Clubs participating in the various Club and Cup events.

The 5th European Nations Cup for Women was held in Cologne, Germany and the 8th European Nations Cup for Men was held in Padova, Italy. The Netherlands' women and Germany's men claimed the championships, and along with them, automatic qualification to both the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and the 2002 World Cups. Please see "For the Record" for final standings.

The EHF have awarded the 6th European Nations Cup for Women and the 9th European Nations Cup for Men to the Real Federacion Espanola de Hockey to be held in the city of Barcelona in September 2003. This will be the first time that the two competitions will be organised at the same time and at the same venue.

In Padova, Alain Danet President EHF and Harry Salomons, AstroTurf announced the renewal of the sponsorship agreement for a further four years.

Development - A number of Youth Camps and Coaching Seminars have been held over the past four months. The final coaching seminar for umpires was held in Padova where 24 umpires were in attendance.

Oceania Hockey Federation

(Still waiting for information.)

Pan American Hockey Federation

Pan American Games - The XIII Pan American Games took place in Winnipeg from July 23 - August 8, 1999 with the hockey finals taking place on August 4, 1999. By virtue of their gold medal finishes, the Canadian men and the Argentinean women have qualified for the Sydney Olympics in 2000. It should be noted also that Cuba won its first ever medal in hockey in the Pan American Games in Winnipeg.

PAHF Congress, Board and Committee Meetings - At the PAHF Congress held during the Pan Am Games, and a special commemorative lunch following, the PAHF honoured Dr Peter Porritt an Office Bearer of the PAHF since its inception in 1967. Dr Porritt, who had been either secretary/treasurer or Treasurer for the last 32 years was presented with a silver tray and appointed as the first ever Honorary Member of the PAHF. He was recognised by various speakers for his contribution to hockey development in the Province of Manitoba, in Canada and at the Pan American and International levels.

Eleven of the 19 countries of the PAHF were represented at the Congress.

Elections were held for PAHF Officers and Ordinary Board Members. The following were elected for a two year period:

President, Tony von Ondarza; General Secretary, Sue Neill; Hon. Treasurer, Janet Ellis; Vice President, Rosa de Massa. Please see "Notes and News" for additional election results.

Special permission was given by member countries to elect the above Board members for a two year period as part of a plan to adjust the time frame so that Congresses of the PAHF can be held every two years instead of every four.

The following Committee Chairs were also appointed: Competitions, Chris Waters; Development, Judy McCrae; Medical, Kathleen Watson; Umpiring, Horacio Servetto.

The Statutes of the PAHF were passed as revised and are now in line with those of the FIH. A small group will be appointed to review the statutes and make further recommendations for change to the next Congress in two years time - to be held in conjunction with the first women's America's Cup in 2001.

In the afternoon following the Congress, a very successful Open Forum was held and plans for the PAHF were discussed.

The PAHF was very pleased to have the FIH Treasurer, Robert Lycke in our presence for the PAHF Congress and the final days of the competition.

Events - September 18-26, 1999, First PAHF Club Championships Kingston Jamaica; Late June/early July 1999 First Americans Cup for Men in La Habana, Cuba (PAHF Board and Committee Meetings as well); October 11-21, 1999, Men's Junior Pan American Championships - Santiago, Chile; April 10-20, 2000, Women's Junior Pan Am Championships - Barbados.