GB Hockey wins prestigious international award

Smurfturfs give it a go 450

Great Britain Hockey is delighted to have been awarded the President's Award (below right) by the International Hockey Federation at the FIH Congress in Malaysia.

FIH President's AwardThe award was made to GB Hockey in recognition of its contribution to the development and promotion of hockey in maximising the opportunity of the London 2012 Olympic Games and its work towards securing a fantastic legacy for hockey.

Great Britain Hockey became the first organisation to receive the award, along with New Zealand Hockey which also received the President's Award. Traditionally it has been given to individuals who have worked for the benefit of hockey.

Awarding Great Britain Hockey the honour, FIH president Leandro Negre said: "Great Britain hockey did an amazing job of using the the Olympic Games as a platform to promote hockey. They used the opportunity of the World's biggest sporting event to get the word out about our game through hard work and creativity."

Richard Leman, President of Great Britain Hockey, said: “On behalf of everyone involved with Great Britain Hockey I’m delighted that the efforts of the organisation and everyone involved in hockey have been recognised with the President’s Award from the International Hockey Federation. It’s a testament to the extra effort put in by everyone involved in hockey in this country over the past few years, from grassroots volunteers to the staff and the athletes of the GB teams. It’s a great honour for us to receive this award on behalf of the whole Hockey Nation.”

Sally Munday, Chief Operating Officer at GB Hockey, added: "It is fantastic for GB Hockey to be awarded the prestigious FIH President's Award. I am delighted to have been here at the FIH Congress to receive the award. We embarked on a massive engagement programme in the build up to and throughout the 2012 Olympic Games which has seen over 50,000 people give hockey a go on the Olympic Park and around the country and this award recognizes the incredible work of  the hockey clubs, volunteers and our partners and staff in providing so many fantastic opportunities for people to pick up a hockey stick.

"It is wonderful that the International Hockey Federation has recognised what we have achieved and a great reward for everyone in the hockey family in Great Britain."

Great Britain Hockey’s celebrated Hockey Nation programme has been central to the sport’s efforts to generate visibility for and participation in the sport, spurred by the buzz of the London 2012 Olympic Games. More than two years in the making and running since January 2012, the Hockey Nation programme has seen a number of events and initiatives run across the country to encourage more people to get involved in hockey.

The Hockey Nation programme included:

• Athlete ambassador school visits - during which more than 6000 young people met a GB hockey star and received hockey coaching.

• The npower Big Dribble – a nationwide hockey roadshow tour of 40 towns & cities covering more than 2012km, giving the British public the chance to try hockey over a short dribbling course.

• Grassroots coaching observation day - providing grassroots coaches with the opportunity to watch and ask questions of the GB head coaches as they put their Olympic teams through their paces.

• The Investec London Cup – an international tournament, to be held annually, hosted by GB Hockey in Chiswick ahead of London 2012. Featured GB, Netherlands, Germany, Australia, South Africa and Ireland.

• The 2012 Gala Dinner - a showpiece black tie fundraising send-off event for the British Olympic teams.

• Hockey Houses – a network of high street bars and hockey clubs set up as hockey fan venues for the Olympic Games.

• Hockey Nation ‘Give it a Go’ – a nationwide programme running throughout the Olympic period in which 23,000 people tried their hand at hockey in more than 600 locations. Supported by a dedicated search website

• Give it a Go on the Olympic Park – two reduced size versions of the Olympic hockey pitch at the Riverbank Arena offering Olympic spectators to try hockey. In total, 30,000 people picked up a hockey stick at the Riverbank Arena during the two weeks of the Olympic Games. 

The President’s Award was received by the three chief executives of the home nation governing bodies for hockey (pictured below left to right); Helen Bushell (Chief Executive of Hockey Wales), Sally Munday (Chief Executive of England Hockey, Chief Operating Officer of GB Hockey) and Robert Heatly (Chief Executive of Scottish Hockey).

Helen Bushell, Sally Munday & Robert Heatly with the FIH President's Award at FIH Congress, Malaysia, November 2012

Above (left to right): Helen Bushell (Chief Executive, Hockey Wales), Sally Munday (Chief Operating Officer, GB Hockey & Chief Executive, England Hockey) & Robert Heatly (Chief Executive, Scottish Hockey) with the FIH President's Award.