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Thursday, June 6, 2024

FIH: Tayyab Ikram: “Empowering Nationwide Associations And Athletes Is A Should”

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Precisely a yr in the past on the Olympic Home in Lausanne, FIH and its President, Tayyab Ikram, launched the Worldwide Hockey Federation’s first ever “Empowerment and Engagement” technique, in attendance of IOC President Thomas Bach.
The FIH President takes inventory of the primary twelve months of the implementation of this technique aimed toward boosting the worldwide growth of hockey.  

President Ikram, why was it important to launch this technique?

This technique is each the result of a course of and an initiative. The worldwide standing of hockey in the present day exhibits that it is extremely various. And there are a lot of “unasked” questions by our Nationwide Associations (NAs) that, because of my lengthy expertise in growth, I’m able to hear. NAs needed to listen to how related FIH is for them, and the way related they’re for FIH. So, based mostly alone evaluation and on the suggestions acquired from Nationwide Associations, I got here to the conclusion that we completely needed to provide you with a plan that higher serves in the present day’s wants of ALL hockey stakeholders.

In your quite a few interactions with the Nationwide Associations, what are the principle areas that they’ve recognized the place they want most assist or steerage?

They want to get higher services to play. We showcase worldwide hockey being carried out on high surfaces however what in regards to the younger children of creating international locations the place there may be generally no hockey pitch in any respect?

Equally, the query of hockey tools comes repeatedly. How can they entice the younger era? As we speak, every part is round life-style. So, utilizing second-hand tools is now not sufficient. A child having a vibrant stick within the palms seems like driving a luxurious automobile! The world has modified fully, so we have to address the time.

Then, there may be the query of how finest to make use of the time spent taking part in hockey. Is it high quality time? That is the place FIH comes into play, serving to NAs to develop the younger era each as athletes and people. Specifically, by offering a pathway to competitors as a motivation for younger athletes. In the event that they don’t find yourself taking part in a contest, then the method might be a lot slower.

NAs are additionally seeking to be extra empowered, have assets to journey, protected and superior instructing atmosphere for kids, steerage to supply roadmaps to their Sports activities Ministries and Nationwide Olympic Committees, and so forth and so forth. FIH is dedicated to help them!

And what do athletes inform you once you meet them?

It’s our responsibility to satisfy and hearken to the athletes. They’ve a unique perspective, and an important and useful one! Their opinions generally can matter greater than the sports activities leaders’. They inform issues in a direct and clear means, outlining points linked to the hockey schedule – some really feel there may be an excessive amount of hockey for them, some really feel they nonetheless want extra alternatives to play -, teaching, officiating, the principles of hockey, and so forth …

We have to empower them, assist them be not solely hockey athletes but in addition sturdy people for society, educate them about their rights and the way finest they’ll use these, assist them of their transition from hockey to the skilled world, and so forth. In some international locations, the one voice is the coach. This has to vary, with a purpose to present a stability.

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How can greater NAs assist much less privileged ones?

That’s my dream, in truth! It’s occurring a bit, however not that a lot … We have to inform the larger NAs that that is additionally a part of their social duty. We began some twinning initiatives prior to now but it surely was now not the main focus lately and it’s now once more on my agenda. For instance, I used to be not too long ago in Australia and Hockey Australia informed me that they felt world hockey wants a stronger Pakistan. Following that, I had a very good assembly with Australia’s Excessive Commissioner in Pakistan.

The geographical parameter can play a task. For instance, Australia and New Zealand supporting the Pacific Islands, some greater NAs in Asia or Europe serving to smaller ones on their continent by bringing athletes, coaches, umpires of their leagues, and so forth.

So, this plan is within the pipeline, and a well-placed merchandise of our Empowerment and Engagement technique!

Do you assume Hockey5s is usually a game-changer for the expansion of our sport?

I consider so! And I feel we proved that with the primary ever FIH Hockey5s World Cup in Oman in January. It by no means occurs in hockey that you’ve 32 nationwide groups, very various, in only one metropolis, with six of them taking part in their first-ever FIH Hockey World Cup! That was after all an enormous motivation for the smaller nations to have the ability to play towards the likes of India or the Netherlands!

Additionally, upon my initiative and as an indication of encouragement, groups not qualifying for the quarter finals nonetheless had an opportunity to compete for a trophy, particularly the “Challenger Trophy”. That had an enormous that means, particularly for rising nations.

Bridging the efficiency hole, opening up extra accessibility for youthful generations and creating nations, offering them with this type of alternatives, all of that’s already a game-changer.

FIH occasions are being delivered to new territories like Oman, Poland or Croatia. Does this additionally belong to the technique?

Completely! That is a part of empowerment. And was by no means performed by FIH earlier than, though this clearly belongs to our major mission to develop hockey in each nook of the world!

Giving these NAs the expertise to host professionally our high occasions and athletes – the suggestions in regards to the Olympic Qualifiers in Muscat was implausible! – signifies that they’ll study quite a bit. So, it’s an enormous legacy!

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