Hockey: National Associations Summit on strategy, digital... and more. FIH

Thanks to the initiative of International Hockey Federation (FIH) President Tayyab Ikram, the second National Associations Summit took place in Muscat, Oman, to coincide with the inaugural FIH Hockey5s World Cup.  

Some 35 national associations were represented and discussed key strategic issues for the continued development of hockey. The FIH President Tayyab Ikram opened the meeting. "I have made it clear from the beginning of my mandate that hockey's stakeholders, in particular the FIH, the continental federations and the national associations, need to meet face-to-face on a regular basis. This is essential to feel each other and to grow our sport together," he stressed. 

A key item on the agenda was the future strategy of the FIH. Under the theme "FIH Next Chapter: Innovate to Elevate", this session focused on issues such as empowering and engaging National Associations, promoting the sport and understanding the rules of hockey. As an example, Hockey Australia Vice President Pat Hall explained how Hockey Australia has developed a strategy to grow hockey in the country ahead of the 2032 Olympic Games in Brisbane. 

Digitalisation was another key topic, with a presentation entitled "FIH Digital Power Play: Navigating the Digital Revolution" by Erik Klein Nagelvoort, president of the Royal Dutch Hockey Association (KNHB). While hockey has been embracing digital for a number of years, there is still huge potential ahead, especially when it comes to using data for monetisation. To achieve this, the global hockey community needs to work as one… "One Hockey"! 

President Ikram reported on his FIH activities and interactions, not only with the continental federations and national associations, but also with the IOC and the the Olympic Movement. The finances of the FIH were presented in full transparency to all meeting participants. 

FIH President Tayyab Ikram has a strong focus on hockey development. FIH
FIH President Tayyab Ikram has a strong focus on hockey development. FIH

Polytan, a German manufacturer of synthetic turf systems and sports surfaces, provided an update on the latest developments in non-watered turf - used for the first time at an FIH event at the current FIH Hockey5s World Cup - and the Paris GT Zero turf - hockey's first carbon-zero turf - which will be used at the upcoming Olympic Games. 

A detailed update on the activities of the Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee was given by the Chair of the Committee, Marijke Fleuren. Further information was provided on the FIH Centenary, the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Watch.Hockey and broadcasting and commercial matters. 

"Similar to the previous National Association Summit, I'm really pleased with the level of information that has been shared, the constructive atmosphere and the unity shown during this event. The discussions were so enlightening! I'm more convinced than ever that such interactions are extremely beneficial for our development and that there is a strong determination not only to grow, but to grow together," concluded the FIH President.

The FIH is the world governing body for the sport of hockey, recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Founded in 1924, the it has now 140 national member associations.