FIH President Tayyab Ikram attended the 56th General Assembly of the German Hockey Association in Berlin on 6 May, where he delivered the opening address.

President Ikram used this opportunity to reiterate his congratulations to the German men’s team who were crowned World Champions in India earlier this year, concluding a magnificent event in all aspects!

He went on thanking and congratulating the German Hockey Federation and his President Henning Fastrich - who was (re)elected during this General Assembly later on – as well as the Berlin club hosting the event for their tremendous dedication in promoting the game both at a local and nationwide level. 

He made a point outlining the tremendous part that clubs are playing in the overall hockey structure. Clubs are usually the very first institution that hockey people come across with. As such, they have a big impact on everyone’s hockey experience. Therefore, together with FIH, the Continental Federations and the National Associations, they need to think about innovating – especially in order to remain attractive for the youth – but also work on the retention of players to be able to offer them a lifetime hockey experience.

The FIH President also spoke at length about the power of sport in general, and hockey in particular, to be a catalyst for positive change in society. The global hockey community is passionate about hockey’s values. Indeed, hockey is more than a sport. Hockey connects and inspires. Therefore, it can play a big role within communities, and even more so thanks to the clubs, precisely. For example, hockey can be a leader in terms of promoting and implementing sustainability. 

Gender equality was one the main themes tackled by President Ikram in his speech, too. He praised the work done by the FIH Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and in particular by its Chairwoman, Marijke Fleuren, for her tireless efforts which have borne fruits not only in Europe but in every continent.

The FIH President concluded his remarks by expressing his sincerest thanks to Germany and the German Hockey Association for hosting the Special Olympic World Games this year, where hockey ID will be part of the programme for the very first time.

President Ikram said: “I’d like to wholeheartedly congratulate and thank everyone involved in the organisation of this General Assembly, which was simply fantastic. The hockey structure is very strong in Germany. And I’m really overwhelmed by so much passion, commitment and … talent. I think everything is provided for hockey to grow here.”