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FIH Athletes‘ Committee determined to make an impact beyond field of play

September 20, 2018

During its meeting last week in Lausanne, Switzerland, the FIH Athletes’ Committee reviewed its strategy to ensure it’s best able to represent and protect the interests of athletes within the FIH. It also discussed how it can further increase its involvement in the development of hockey across the globe, the fight against doping and corruption and in the Olympic Movement.

IOC Athletes’ Commission member Aya Mahmoud Medany, an Olympian in Modern Pentathlon from Egypt, joined in for part of the day to discuss various opportunities for closer collaboration between the IOC’s and the FIH’s athletes’ representatives.

Aya stressed the ambition of her Commission to motivate athletes’ representatives from International Federations (IFs), National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and National Federations (NFs) to bring forward their views. She confirmed that the IOC is really keen to get the athletes’ perspective on a wide range of topics which was also her motivation to visit to the FIH. Aya outlined the strategy of the IOC Athletes’ Commission and also updated the Committee on Athlete365, an IOC online space dedicated to topics which concern athletes on and off the field of play.

Members of the FIH Athletes’ Committee have been in regular exchange with the IOC and other key players in the Olympic Movement for a while.

Co-Chair Marsha Cox was part of an athletes group for the launch of Olympic Agenda 2020, back in 2014. Since then she has been an active participant in IOC Athletes Forums and, most recently, was also a member of the IOC Steering Committee responsible for establishing an Athletes Charter of Rights. Marsha is also an active ambassador for the Play True 2020 campaign, organised by the Japan Anti-Doping Agency and Sport for Tomorrow.

The other Co-Chair of the FIH Athletes’ Committee, Annie Panther represents the athletes’ views as a voting member on the FIH Executive Board. In addition to this crucial role, she is also a representative on the FIH Competitions Committee. They make key recommendations to the FIH Executive Board in relation to all logistical items related to FIH events such as the calendar of events, sanctioning events and changes of regulations for example.

Co-Chairs Annie Panter and Marsha Cox, along with their fellow Committee members, have played an important role in developing the FIH’s successful Anti-Doping Education Programme which has been completed by more than 2,000 athletes from across the world.

On the occasion of last week’s FIH Athletes’ Committee meeting, Annie Panter said: “It is vital that the FIH maintains strong athlete representation within the organisation and listens to the athletes across all levels of competitions. We hope the new elections along with the appointments made by the Executive Board provide a new Athletes’ Committee who will work hard to represent their fellow athletes.”

Regarding athletes’ stronger involvement in the development of hockey at all levels, the Athletes’ Committee agreed to have an athlete representative on any future Development Committee and work very closely with the Sport and Development Director.

The meeting of the FIH Athletes’ Committee also served to update all members about the progress made in the preparations of the FIH Pro League, the new ‘game-changing’ competition, for which all venues for the 2019 season were recently announced.

Likewise, they received a report on the ongoing online voting for eight Regular Member and two Liaison Member positions in the Athletes’ Committee, with voting closing on 7 October.

The new members will be officially announced on 3 November 2018 during Congress and the Committee discussed how to ensure a smooth transfer of knowledge.

ABOUT THE FIH ATHLETES' COMMITTEE
The Athletes’ Committee serves as a consultative body and makes recommendations to the FIH Executive Board, FIH Committees, Advisory Panels and other bodies. The roles cover seeking and providing feedback to the FIH on behalf of all athletes, whilst developing and promoting resources and initiatives to athletes such as health and welfare, anti-doping, social media, the need to create stars to attract new fans, career preparation and management. The Committee also plays a central role in liaising with the Athletes’ Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other sporting organisations to enable the sharing of information and research and ultimately developing the game of hockey.

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