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Masters Hockey Panel Created
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is delighted to announce the newly constituted FIH Masters Hockey Panel. Chaired by FIH Executive Board member and former England Women’s Masters player, Sue Catton, the panel brings together representatives from FIH, World Grand Masters Association (WGMA) and International Masters Hockey Association (IMHA).
The panel has been set up to lead the worldwide development of international Masters hockey while driving participation via FIH’s Continental Federations and National Associations. FIH President Leandro Negre welcomed the initiative, commenting: “Inclusivity is one of FIH’s core values. The ability to play our sport at any age or ability is central to hockey’s appeal. Working in partnership with the WGMA and IMHA, we will encourage and support more National Associations to get involved. The scale of the events that have been organised to date are incredible and we really are excited to be able to support these better.”
Ben Rea, President of the IMHA, which oversees the 40+, 45+, 50+ and 55+ Masters hockey, said: "IMHA welcomes this initiative from FIH which enables us to inform the international hockey family about the great advances being made in Masters hockey for both men and women. We have already had participation in our tournaments from over 25 countries across four continents and we now hope to encourage all FIH's National Associations to take part, wherever in the world they are being held".
President of the WGMA, Peter Child, who is leading Masters hockey for the 60+, 65+, 70+ and 75+ age groups added: "WGMA is delighted with the decision made by FIH to set up the FIH Masters Hockey Panel, and we are certain that this will have a positive influence on the future development and expansion of international Masters hockey. At our first meeting, many ideas for the future, including standardisation of regulations and raising awareness of Masters hockey, were discussed. We are confident that positive results, particularly in enlarging the international Masters hockey family, will be clearly seen in the coming months and years."
More than 110 teams from 21 different National Associations have registered to take part in the Masters Hockey World Cups to be staged in the Netherlands at the same time as the Rabobank Hockey World Cup in June. With more than 2,000 participants, Masters World Cups will be battled out in every age group including, for the first time, 60+ women and 75+ men.
The FIH Masters Panel is keen to seek the views of both current and past masters players to guide future plans. A short questionnaire is available on the FIH Website under 'Events - Masters Hockey'.