For The Record

Issue 15 2015


“Giving athletes a stronger voice” was the reason behind the International Hockey Federation (FIH)’s recent restructure of the process for current and former athletes to become part of the FIH Athletes’ Committee. In 2014, the FIH launched its new 10-year strategy and the restructure of the Athletes’ Committee; and the benefits to all involved in the game is directly linked with this new strategy and the FIH’s ambition – to govern a global game that inspires the next generation.

Last year’s Hockey World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands, in June 2014, saw the implementation of the brand new Athletes’ Committee election process. It was highly successful, with an amazing 82 per cent of the 432 participating athletes voting! Previously, all eight members of the Athletes’ Committee were appointed by the FIH Executive Board. Now, four members are elected, with the FIH Executive Board appointing the other four members to ensure a fair representation of different geographies and genders.

IOC Athletes’ Commission member Hayley Wickenheiser, who acts as the liaison between the IOC and the FIH, says that:

“the athlete’s voice is very important at Board level. Ensuring a fair voting process that is transparent and open shows everyone you are serious about the way you run your organisation. I am very pleased with the changes the FIH has made to ensure their collective athletes’ best voice is brought forward”.

The FIH Athletes’ Committee is made up of current and former hockey players who have the responsibility to act as a link between the FIH and hockey players worldwide. This ensures that players are brought closer to the decision-making process, and recognises their position as stakeholders at the centre of the game. It’s a significant step for player advocacy and ensures that players can have their views and opinions heard.

The eight current FIH Athletes’ Committee members, who are representative of all continents and both genders, are:
Returning Chair Michael Green says: “I am excited about the restructure of the Athletes’ Committee and its future role. The input of all the Committee members is highly valued and important to hockey.” Michael will remain Chair until 2016.

The FIH believes in the power of “athlete-to–athlete” communications, and has tasked its Athletes’ Committee members with establishing contact with each national federation in their continent. This is a great way for athletes to ensure their views are heard, and to communicate hockey stories within the different federations.

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