Under the initiative and chairmanship of FIH President Tayyab Ikram, a "National Associations summit" was organised earlier this week at the International Hockey Federation (FIH) headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Representatives from the Hockey Associations of India, the Netherlands, New Zealand, England, Spain, Malaysia, Australia, Belgium and Germany took part, together with FIH CEO Thierry Weil, members of the FIH Executive Board, Continental Federation Presidents and members of the FIH team. 

In-depth discussions were held in an open and constructive way about a wide range of topics such as commercial, broadcast, communications or sustainability. 

This meeting was part of the regular consultation process with hockey stakeholders that the FIH President has initiated since the start of his mandate. The agenda included, amongst others, a feedforward session called “Working together for future oriented solutions”, which underlines how important and impactful such interactions are - and will be - for the future development of hockey. Further similar summits will follow.

Commenting on the gathering, Sharon Williamson, Hockey New Zealand Executive Board member, said: “Thanks FIH - the NA Summit was a great way to bring together leaders from hockey nations around the world to share our experiences and collaborate on the best ways to collectively take our sport forward.  There is a real sense of solidarity - and we look forward to this becoming a regular event to build on what we have achieved together.”

“The recently concluded engagement session with hockey leading nations proved to be an invaluable opportunity for sharing insights and strategies on sustaining and popularizing the sport. By learning from the experiences, strategies, and best practices of other leading hockey nations, we can enhance our own approach to the game and contribute to its overall advancement. Great initiative by FIH in creating this platform”, Malaysian Hockey Confederation CEO Nishel Kumar added. 

The same National Associations were invited to join the FIH Executive Board meeting taking place at the Olympic House on the following day, where the new FIH Empowerment and Engagement strategy was launched. 

Dutch Hockey Association (KNHB) President Erik Klein Nagelvoort said: “Energized by the Empowerment and Engagement strategy. Take away is how do we grow the digital audience which is at our fingertips. What if we could communicate with the 30 million + hockey players and fans worldwide? Participation in our hockey community is crucial and, based on the mindset we’ve been showing in the last 2 days in Lausanne, achievable.”

“I’m overwhelmed by the active and inspiring participation of the National Associations representatives who made all the way to Lausanne for this NA summit and the FIH EB meeting. Their precious insights are invaluable on our journey to grow hockey. This interaction confirms that a regular consultation process is the right approach. I look forward to more inputs, not only from the leading nations, but from the global hockey community”, FIH President Tayyab Ikram concluded.