Lausanne, Jun 6 (IANS): The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Tuesday launched a new strategy -- called the "Empowerment and Engagement" strategy -- for the global development of hockey.
The announcement was made on the occasion of its second meeting of the year between the FIH and its President, Tayyab Ikram, in attendance of International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.
The comprehensive plan, announced after the meeting held at the Olympic House in Lausanne, follows the programme that Tayyab Ikram announced at the start of his mandate in November last year and confirmed at the FIH Executive Board meeting in January.
The strategy aims in the first place at empowering hockey stakeholders such as Continental Federations (CFs) and National Associations (NAs) for them to lead the development of hockey in their respective continents and countries, and engage with all FIH members and hockey stakeholders, the FIH informed in a media advisory on Tuesday.
The exhaustive and ambitious programme centres around four main pillars:
Provide more places to play (for example 10-15 new, free-of-cost Hockey5s pitches will be installed worldwide); a boost to coaching (ex: 200 days of High-Performance assistance); more opportunities to compete (ex: potential new events or adjustment of existing events to increase team participation) and more tools to empower CFs and N's (ex: 10'000 hockey sticks delivered per year)
The other key elements of the programme include reaching out to youth, establishing a new Development Bureau - which has already started operating - managing and overseeing execution; enhanced communication, with an intensified digital engagement; a regular consultation with hockey stakeholders; a transparent process and a repurposed Hockey Foundation, driving social development, sustainability efforts and FIH contribution to the UN SDGs through hockey and playing a positive role in society.
The key elements also involve a firm commitment to sustainability, strengthening hockey values such as gender equality, inclusion and diversity, into an enhanced FIH Sustainability Strategy.
On the occasion, FIH President Tayyab Ikram said: "Developing hockey in all corners of the world is the number one mission of FIH. Whilst much progress has been done in this area ov'r the years, it's time to act to reach the next level! With a focus on empowering and engaging with all FIH members and hockey stakeholders, this new strategy aims at bringing hockey to everyone, everywhere, at any time! 'Athletes first' is our motto, with a specific focus on youth."
"I would also like to express my sincerest gratitude to IOC President Thomas Bach for his support as well as his attendance at the official launch of the FIH Empowerment and Engagement strategy, and welcoming us at the Olympic House today," he was quoted as saying in the release.