It was a night of celebration for many of the sport’s hardest working promoters and representatives on Thursday 1 November 2018 as the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Honorary Awards took place at the Lalit Hotel in New Delhi, India.
A wonderfully vibrant, colourful event containing a string of acts from the world of dance, music and entertainment, all showcasing India’s rich and diverse culture, were enjoyed by hockey delegates representing well over 100 National Associations, who have converged in New Delhi as part of the programme for the 46th FIH Congress.
The FIH Honorary Awards ceremony is a crucial element of the Congress programme, rewarding those who have made an outstanding contribution to the sport of hockey.
There were 12 recipients of FIH President’s Award, which recognises individuals or National Associations having excelled with initiatives, projects or programmes that have contributed over a long period of time to the enrichment of the sport at international level. International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach was named as a winner of this hugely prestigious prize thanks to his longstanding support of both the sport and the Federation, but was sadly unable to be present in New Delhi to collect his award in person.
Pam Elgar collects her President's Award from FIH President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra.
Although Dr Bach was unable to attend, fellow recipients European Hockey Federation President Marijke Fleuren (NED), Oceania Hockey Federation President Pam Elgar (NZL) and Pan-American Hockey Federation President Alberto Budeisky (ARG) were all on hand to collect their honorary awards from FIH President Batra for their outstanding contributions in developing the sport in their respective regions and the constant drive towards gender equality. Former Belgium international and National Association President Marc Coudron (BEL) was also honoured, reflecting his key role in the growth of the sport in his homeland, as was Yokoyama Hide (JPN) for being instrumental in the development of hockey in Japan.
Alberto 'Coco' Budeisky receives his President's Award from FIH President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra.
Sheikh Al-Fahad Al-Sabah Ahmad, Naveen Patnaik, Raj Kumar Singh and HRH Prince Abdullah Shah were also revealed as winners of the President Award, as were The Hockey Museum for their role in ensuring that the history of the sport is being preserved for future generations. Wolfgang Hillmann, President of the Deutscher Hockey Bund, collected a President’s Award on behalf of the Germany Men’s U-21 team for their staggering display of sportsmanship at the EuroHockey Junior Championship in 2017. On the eve of their bronze medal match against Spain, a large number of the Spanish players were incapacitated by a virus and therefore unfit to play. Understanding the gravity of the situation, the Germany U-21 team chose to share the bronze medal, going so far as to unveiling the Spanish flag in honour of their sick opponents when they took their place on the podium.
The Germany men's U-21 team were honoured for their remarkable sportsmanship at the EuroHockey Junior Championship in 2017. Credit: European Hockey Federation.
Away from the President’s Award, the Pablo Negre Award was presented to Koninklijke Nederlandse Hockey Bond (KNHB) in recognition of their innovative programme to embrace the spirit of hockey, while the Federacion Deportiva Peruana de Hockey took the Theo Ykema Award thanks to their wonderful efforts in sustainable hockey development. Chaiyapak Siriwat (THA) was named as the winner of the Sultan Azlan Shah Award for his dedicated commitment to hockey, with Herman Kruis (NED) taking the Etienne Glichitch Award in recognition of his contribution to the growth and development of the sport.
Harchan Singh Dillon (HKG) and the China Women’s Hockey Team were the respective winners of the Guust Lathouwers Memorial Trophy and the Super Fair Play Trophy René G. Frank, while Sue Catton (ENG), Alain Renaud (FRA), Yoshida Motohito (JPN) and Peter Wefers-Bettink (NED) were named Order of Merit winners. Diploma of Merit Awards went to Nii Quay Kumah (GHA), Brigadier Mussarat Ullah Khan (PAK) and Choi-Cho Yoon (KOR).
A list of the FIH Honorary Award winners for 2018 can be found below. To see an overview of all FIH Honorary Award winners both past and present as well as background information about the prizes, please click here.
The FIH Honorary Awards Ceremony took place on the second day of proceedings at the 46th Congress, with the Congress session itself taking place on 3 November. Some 250 delegates from all over the world have gathered in New Delhi for the Congress, where key strategic decisions are made for the development and governance of hockey globally.
The Congress agenda includes an overview of the status of the game, its evolution and development worldwide. Furthermore, delegates will elect four members to the Executive Board, while the Athletes’ committee will be renewed. Other items on the agenda include the ratification of the appointment of the President of the Judicial Commission, an update on the IOC Solidarity Foundation as well as a report on the FIH finances.
Welcoming all guests of the 46th FIH Congress, FIH President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra said: “It is a great pleasure to have you here in my country and my home town of Delhi. I have your permission to express my gratitude to Hockey India for looking after us, so a big thank you to them for their hospitality in hosting this event.”
Hockey India Chief Executive Officer Elena Norman expressed her delight in hosting the awards ceremony and the Congress itself. “Over the past years, the FIH Congress has proved to be one of the most critical platforms for dialogue, which has paved the way for the Hockey Revolution throughout the world, including India. All of us at Hockey India, especially our President Mohd. Mushtaque Ahmad, feels privileged to have been chosen as the host of the 2018 FIH Congress, and we do hope that everyone present experiences a memorable four days in our capital city New Delhi.”