The President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, visted the International Hockey Federation (FIH) headquarters on Saturday to address Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra, FIH President and the members of the Executive Board (EB).
President Bach took the opportunity to learn about hockey’s brand-new unique global international team-sport league – the Hockey Pro League for which nine men’s and nine women’s national teams were announced on 11 June 2017.
He stressed the importance for International Federations to keep developing innovative event formats which are especially appealing to young people. Engaging with youth forms part of the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations, the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement driven by the IOC President.
During the meeting, Tayyab Ikram, FIH EB member and responsible for International Relations, explained how many of the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations align perfectly with the Hockey Revolution, FIH's 10-year strategy aimed at making hockey a global game that inspires the next generation.
Both strategies have a strong focus on youth, the promotion of gender equality and the protection of clean athletes. In addition, one big goal of the Hockey Revolution is to develop innovative and exciting entertainment events whilst Olympic Agenda foresees to move from a sport-based to an event-based Olympic programme.
FIH President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra and CEO Jason McCracken sharing a gift with IOC President Thomas Bach
Tayyab Ikram also confirmed that more than 50 National Associations across all continents will be implementing hockey programmes on occasion of Olympic Day, celebrated each year on 23 June.
The IOC President thanked the FIH for its support and presented President Dr Batra with an IOC Trophy in recognition of hockey’s contribution to the Olympic Movement.
After the meeting, FIH President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra said: “It was an absolute pleasure and honour for me to welcome President Bach to our FIH Executive Board meeting. We were all impressed by how much time he took to discuss with us in detail the strategic priorities for hockey as well as for the Olympic Movement. I think we all shared the feeling that we are well aligned which provides strong foundations for hockey's future.”
FIH CEO Jason McCracken added: “We were honoured to share our exciting plans for the future of hockey with President Bach. He heard first hand about the newly launched Hockey Pro League and some of our other Hockey Revolution initiatives aligned to the IOCs Olympic Agenda 2020. Whilst his input was of great value to the Executive Board, we were proud to see his enthusiasm for the positive steps we are making for hockey.”