India and Uganda take home FIH 2018 Olympic Day Awards

The National Associations of India and Uganda are the winners of this year’s FIH 2018 Olympic Day Awards, which were presented on 3 November 2018 during the 46th FIH Congress in New Delhi. The Awards recognise Sport for All activities undertaken by FIH stakeholders on the occasion of Olympic Day, celebrated each year on 23 June. In 2018, 60 FIH stakeholders activated approximately 30,000 people to play hockey in more than 50 countries across the five continents. The programmes were highly inclusive and targeted people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

The project by Hockey India was chosen as the most innovative one this year by an FIH Panel, with the Uganda Hockey Association picking up the second best activity award. Both FIH member associations will receive grants for their development activities.

In India, a total of 47 Hockey India Member Units celebrated Olympic Day across the country, which resulted in more than 1000 people picking up a hockey stick during State Championships, exhibition matches, Hockey 5s games, road rallies and coaching seminars. Participation was gender balanced and covered all age groups. A highlight was the involvement of 95 year old Balbir Singh Senior, a three times Olympic champion in hockey, who joined in to share his love for hockey. A number of representatives from the government and the National Olympic Committee (NOC) attended as well. The impact was enhanced by organised media opportunities around these activities which spread awareness about hockey to a much wider audience.

In Africa, runners up Uganda included people with impairments in the Olympic Day activities which took place at four different locations. Most activities were conducted at schools and involved hockey role models. Under the motto “Hockey is family”, more than 1000 people of different age groups took part in Olympic Day. The celebrations were also attended by key people from the public authorities, the French ambassador and the NOC President. Organisers ensured good coverage in print and digital media.

Speaking about this year’s FIH Olympic Day Awards, FIH Director of Sport and Development, Jon Wyatt, said: “It is now the third year that we have encouraged our National Associations to undertake hockey activities and spread Olympic values on and around Olympic Day. Each year we have seen the programmes growing and maturing which is great. We will aim higher again for 2019.” He added: “It was a tough job to pick this year’s winners among a field of many strong candidates, but both India and Uganda undertook outstanding projects which were highly inclusive and involved a significant number of people. Both National Associations were also very clever in involving key people from the government and the NOC who can help hockey develop in the future.”

Full list of countries undertaking hockey activities on the occasion of Olympic Day in 2018:

Africa– Botswana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia.

Asia– Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia,Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore,Tajikistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam.

Europe– Belarus, Estonia, France, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, United Kingdom.

Oceania–Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu.

Pan-America– Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Uruguay.

In addition to the activities by National Associations in the above mentioned countries, the AHF Hockey Academy (Raja Ashman Shah), ParaHockey (EHF Development Section), the FIH Hockey Academy, the Grobots Foundation and the NOCs of Brazil and New Zealand implemented hockey programmes for Olympic Day 2018.