LAUSANNE: The International Hockey Federation (FIH) announced Tuesday that for the first time in the sport’s history an awards ceremony will take place to honour the best players, goalkeepers, rising stars, coaches and umpires.
The FIH, in partnership with Hockey India, will announce the winners of the Hockey Stars Awards 2016 in Chandigarh on 23 February.
The awards ceremony "will celebrate the success of all nominated candidates, providing an opportunity to reflect on what was a truly remarkable year for hockey".
Looking back at the Hockey Champions Trophies, Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the Hockey Junior World Cups and all other key hockey events from the past year, the awards ceremony will showcase hockey’s superstars at their best.
Hockey’s action-packed image will be evident throughout, with performances from the likes of ‘India’s Got Talent’ television stars Papai & Antara making this a truly inspirational event, befitting the first ever Hockey Stars Awards ceremony, an official release states.
The ceremony will be livestreamed via FIH’s YouTube channel, while all of the behind the scenes action will be shared via FIH Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
FIH will also be running a competition through FIH’s social media channels for two lucky fans to attend the awards in India. The winner will receive return flights for them and a friend, five nights’ accommodation, two VIP invitations to the awards plus VIP tickets to the Coal India Hockey India League Final, taking place in the city only a few days after the awards.
Although the FIH Hockey Stars Awards have been presented for a number of years to winners across the world, this first awards ceremony marks a key milestone. The event will bring hockey’s stars together in one location, providing another opportunity to feed the ever-growing broadcast and media interest in the sport.
Speaking about this, FIH president Narinder Batra said: “This awards ceremony is yet another example of hockey increasing the degree of professionalism across all levels of the sport, a key component of the FIH’s 10-year Hockey Revolution strategy.”
Batra continued: “These awards are an important opportunity to generate more followers around the globe by raising the profiles of hockey’s athletes, coaches and officials. By creating hockey heroes who appeal to all sports fans, not just hockey fanatics, it is hoped that these stars will become household names as hockey’s profile continues to grow. This is essential to our strategy’s overarching goal - to make hockey a global game that inspires the next generation.”
Hockey Stars 2016 Nominees:
FIH Player of the Year
Women: Alex Danson (GBR); Carla Rebecchi (ARG); Kate Richardson-Walsh (GBR); Naomi van As (NED); Stacey Michelsen (NZL).
Men: Gonzalo Peillat (ARG); John-John Dohmen (BEL); Moritz Fürste (GER); Pedro Ibarra (ARG); Tobias Hauke (GER).
FIH Goalkeeper of the Year
Women: Belen Succi (ARG); Jackie Briggs (USA); Joyce Sombroek (NED); Kristina Reynolds (GER); Maddie Hinch (GBR).
Men: David Harte (IRL); Jaap Stockmann (NED); Juan Vivaldi (ARG); Parattu Raveendran Sreejesh (IND); Vincent Vanasch (BEL).
FIH Rising Star of the Year (Players under 23)
Women: Florencia Habif (ARG); Kathryn Slattery (AUS); Lily Owsley (GBR); Maria Granatto (ARG); Nike Lorenz (GER).
Men: Arthur van Doren (BEL); Christopher Rühr (GER); Harmanpreet Singh (IND); Jorrit Croon (NED); Timm Herzbruch (GER).
FIH Coach of the Year
Women: Alyson Annan (AUS); Janneke Schopman (USA); Karen Brown (GBR).
Men: Carlos Retegui (ARG); Danny Kerry (GBR); Shane McLeod (NZL).