The International Hockey Federation (FIH) Athletes’ Committee met at the FIH headquarters on 17 January to pass on the baton to the newly-elected Co-Chairs and members. Hosted by the FIH Sport and Development Director, Jon Wyatt, the meeting focused solely on the transfer of knowledge. FIH CEO Thierry Weil was also in attendance to welcome the new Committee, as well as to reiterate the organisation’s commitment to honouring and recognising its athletes. 

Six new members were elected last month by their fellow athletes while four members were recommended to the Committee by the FIH Executive Board, so as to maintain both gender and geographical balance. The new Athletes’ Committee, composed of both retired and active representatives, will focus first on the development of regular and comprehensive communication with the athlete base by exploring various new channels, including social media. 

Incoming Co-Chair and former Dutch national team member Rogier Hofman, who now represents athletes’ voices with full voting rights on the FIH Executive Board, was grateful for being chosen as a representative and vowed to pay back his peers. 

“I feel very honoured that I have been chosen for the FIH Athletes’ Committee, and by dedicating myself to this I want to relieve the players so they can focus on their sporting careers but ensure that all norms, values and most important topics that apply to all players worldwide are heard and implemented within the FIH and our sport in general,” he said. 

The newly-elected Athletes’ Committee agreed to spread out their responsibilities to each FIH Committee and/or panel, in order to ensure that there were credible athlete representatives in every area, including Health and Safety, Commercial and Broadcast, and Rules and Competitions. The Committee also agreed to strengthen ties with the IOC Athletes’ Commission as well as the WADA Athlete Committee. 

Outgoing Co-Chairs Marsha Cox and Annie Panter said, “We have enjoyed the challenges of chairing the FIH Athletes’ Committee over the last two years, and have done our very best to ensure the athlete voice is heard strongly within the FIH.

“We would like to thank all of the outgoing members for their work, and we wish the incoming members the very best for their time on the Athletes’ Committee. We have a huge amount of confidence in the new Chairs, Kate Richardson-Walsh and Rogier Hofman, to lead the Athletes’ Committee forward and become ever more effective. We trust that the FIH will continue to provide the level of support necessary to ensure that athletes across the world are able to contribute towards the governance of our sport.”

The FIH Athletes’ Committee is due to meet next in September to further discuss their future strategy in upholding the values and the traditions of their organisation and sport.

The IOC Athletes’ Commission wishes the new FIH Athletes’ Committee the very best and hopes for a continued and harmonious relationship going forward.   

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