City of Light puts Youth in spotlight - Hockey's International Year of the Youth 2001 officially launched in Paris

Parisian boys and girls celebrated the official opening of Hockey's International Year of the Youth in the Seine city during the FIH Congress in Paris last weekend.

This groundbreaking FIH initiative will create a whole year of hockey fun dedicated to youngsters from every corner of the world.

The first global hockey event of the project will be a Youth Hockey Marathon, in May 2001. Held in all five continents, this marathon aims to gain a place in the Guinness book of records by having the largest number of young people playing hockey at the same time.

Hockey's big names, including double Olympic gold-medallists and FIH Players of the Year in 1998 and 2000, Alyson Annan and Stephan Veen, have already pledged their support for the project.

Millions of Youngsters will participate in the many fun and exciting hockey festivals, courses and events taking place all over the world throughout the year at local, national and international levels. Hockey's International Year of the Youth will culminate in Hobart, Australia during the Junior World Cup for Men in October 2001. According to Project Co-ordinator Gabrielle van Doorn, this special World Hockey Festival will see, "not the end but the beginning of hockey's ambition to embrace the Youth of the World".

Notes to editors: This project is supported by Fuji, Shell, Xerox and Dita International.

For further information please contact:

Gabrielle Van Doorn, Project Co-ordinator
Tel: +31.30.6566444
Email: [email protected]

Hannah Cox at FIH
Tel: +32 2 219 4537
Email: [email protected]