In last month’s issue of World Hockey Online, I looked at hockey’s role as an ambassador for the Olympic ideals. Following on from this I am extremely proud to report that since then, the television channel Eurosport has honoured Teun de Nooijer (NED) and Anke Kuehn (GER) at the SportStar awards for their role in representing Europe at the Athens Olympics.
Our two hockey players stood well among the impressive line-up of Olympians at the award ceremony in Lausanne and it was a real honour to be there and witness the occasion. Many of the athletes were genuinely moved to receive such an award and I am sure that our hockey family is happy that Teun and Anke were representing our sport at this event.
But hockey is not only about elite sport; it is also about new beginnings all across the world. Our development team continuously proves this with their excellent work in so many different countries. In this issue of WHO we can learn all about our development projects in the Americas. We are all proud of the breadth of hockey’s appeal and its diverse fans.
Tony von Ondarza, one of our Vice-Presidents, will have the opportunity to see some of these hockey fans in Rosario later this month at the BDO Hockey Champions Challenge, as he represents the FIH at this prestigious tournament. I wish all teams the best of luck for the event. I, in turn, will make my way to Pakistan in December to witness an exciting Samsung Hockey Champions Trophy, which will close the world level events for 2004.
While I write this President’s View, I am just about to leave for China, where I will meet Hon. Secretary General Peter Cohen and Coaching Manager Tayyab Ikram. There we will meet with the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games organisers and the Chinese Hockey Association. We will visit the possible site for our hockey stadium for the 2008 Games, plus attend the debriefing of Athens, along with many stakeholders such as the Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010 organising committees and the five bidding cities for 2012.
Soon after the China visit we have our bi-annual statutory Congress and meetings at the end of November, held in Leipzig, Germany. This week is an extremely busy time, full of meetings and events where we work with our 115 member associations and committee members from all over the world to help hockey’s future as an Olympic sport. We also hold elections at this time, so there will be no doubt some new faces joining the ranks of our administrative team. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my colleagues for their hard work over the last two years, to say farewell to those who will leave us and to welcome those newcomers. Let’s look forward to another exciting two years in hockey.
Els van Breda Vriesman
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