While the beginning of a new year is traditionally quiet on the international hockey calendar, there has been a lot of activity at FIH headquarters over the past month.
As mentioned in the previous issue of WorldHockey Online, FIH has now settled into its new home in Lausanne. The magnificent offices allow us to further develop the already strong relationship we have with the International Olympic Committee.
While a significant number of staff changes resulted in the move from Brussels, new staff members have been employed from around the world from Switzerland, Romania, Hungary and the United Kingdom to Australia, further enhancing the global feel of FIH’s operations.
FIH has welcomed on board Communications Manager Matthew Slade in the past month. Matthew’s most recent appointment was as the Communications Manager for Hockey Australia, and among other duties, he is responsible for ‘your’ WorldHockey Online.
FIH left behind a lot of history in Belgium dating back to the days of Rene Frank, who was the FIH Honoury Secretary from 1950-1966 and President for 17 years until 1983. However the relocation to Lausanne is the start of an exciting period of limitless opportunities.
Personally, I have been kept extremely busy as a member of the IOC Evaluation Committee over the past month. The committee had visited three of the five candidate cities for the 2012 Olympic Games; Madrid, London New York. The evaluation committee will then travel to Paris and Moscow in March for the final two visits.
The vote to elect the host city of the XXX Olympiad will be made at the 177th IOC Session in Singapore in early July. On 6 July, each Candidate City will be given the opportunity to make a presentation in front of the Session before the vote final decision is made.
The first FIH Executive Board meeting of the year, and the first at hockey’s new home in Lausanne, will occur next week/later this week from 3-6 March. An official opening will also occur during the week on 4 March and the Executive Board is looking forward to visiting our new offices.
Els van Breda Vriesman