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News for 04 April 2020

All the news for Saturday 4 April 2020

FIH planning Hockey Pro League return in July-August

The International Hockey Federation has extended the suspension of Pro League due to the coronavirus pandemic and is planning for a return in July.

An file photo of the FIH Men's Pro League trophy in display at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.   -  FIH Twitter

The International Hockey Federation has been forced to extend the suspension of FIH Pro League’s second edition due to the COVID-19 pandemic and now plans to hold the ties in July and August, provided the current situation improves.

The FIH was forced to suspend the Pro League twice earlier due to the pandemic. The world hockey body first had postponed all matches scheduled before April 15 and later extended the deferment till May 17 because of the novel coronavirus which has killed more than 50,000 globally.

“Now, following the uncertainty of the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, FIH and the participating National Associations (NAs) have decided to consider the month of July and the beginning of August 2020 to play matches of the FIH Hockey Pro League, if the health situation improves,” FIH CEO Thierry Weil told PTI.

“At present, all matches planned in the current schedule are on hold until further notice.

The COVID-19 outbreak has created a major health scare around the globe and had severely affected all activities around the world, including sports which witnessed the postponement of 2020 Tokyo Olympics to next year.

As per the revised schedule announced by the International Olympic Committee, the Summer Games will now be held from July 23 to August 8, exactly a year after the global sporting event was originally scheduled.

International sporting federations, clubs and leagues have started to feel the financial implications of the outbreak and have already started to take remedial measures, including pay cuts to employees and players to cope up with the situation.

And FIH is no exception as Weil said just like other sporting organisation they too will have to mange their finances without elaborating further.

“As a responsible organisation, we manage our finances with the utmost care and look at our financial status on a permanent basis. This is even more the case now, obviously.

“As is already very much discussed around the world, the current COVID-19 pandemic will have consequences on the global economy. Therefore, we absolutely take this situation into account when it comes to our current finance management and budget planning, where we apply maximum caution and care,” the FIH CEO said.

Weil said the FIH has already started to rework on its hockey calendar, which has been severely disturbed by the pandemic.

“With the new dates of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 already known — which is very helpful - we have started to work on the hockey international calendar for the next couple of years,” he said.

“This work will of course include a thorough consultation with Continental Federations, National Associations and athletes.”


Paul Bundy steps down as Canadian Men’s National Team Head Coach

After eight years of involvement with the MNT, Bundy steps down as coach

Paul Bundy has stepped down as the head coach of the Men’s National Team. Bundy, who has been head coach since 2017, announced the news this week.

“My intention was to step away from the program following the 2020 Olympic Games to take a year to care for my baby girl on a full-time basis,” he said. “With the Games moving to 2021, I have made the difficult decision to step away sooner than I had hoped.”

Bundy was first introduced as an assistant coach of the men’s national team in 2012 and took over as interim head coach in the summer of 2017. That fall, he was named permanent head coach and under his leadership, led the Red Caribou for the last three years. With Bundy at the helm, Team Canada saw success at the FIH World League in 2017, qualifying them for the 2018 World Cup, in which they placed 11th. Then, in 2019, the team won the FIH Hockey Series Final in Malaysia, won a silver medal at the Pan American Games and secured an Olympic berth with a thrilling two-game victory over Ireland on home soil.

“Paul has been part of Field Hockey Canada’s development and evolution over the past 10 years, firstly with the women’s team and then of course, with the men’s team,” said Susan Ahrens, CEO of Field Hockey Canada. “During this time, he has worked tirelessly to develop a strong performance culture across the system. Having been assistant coach for the men’s 2016 Olympic campaign, he stepped up to lead the men to World Cup and Olympic qualification in this quadrennial cycle: an outstanding achievement. On behalf of Field Hockey Canada, I would like to publicly thank him for his years of dedication,” Ahrens said.

Scott Tupper, captain of Team Canada, remembers Bundy coaching him, 20 years ago in the FHBC U16 programs. Tupper said Bundy has been a tireless contributor to the Canadian field hockey community and should be commended for his dedication to the national team program.

“In his eight years with the men’s national team, Paul did everything he could to achieve success with our group and to put the players in a position to succeed,” he said. “He went above and beyond for our program and our sport in Canada and was a central figure in our team qualifying for back to back Olympic Games. While we are sad to see him go, on behalf of our team, I would like thank Paul for his years of dedication to the Red Caribou and wish him and his family the best for the future.”

The Field Hockey Canada staff and athletes wish Paul all the best in his future endeavours.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Stats Speak: 67 players who scored century in international hockey

By B.G. Joshi (Sehore- Bhopal, India)

It is a difficult task to score 100 goals in the international hockey. One is lucky to get 3-4 goal scoring chances in crucial matches. Only players who have nuances and the skills with sharp eyes and scoring abilities can score goals in such scenario.

In the era of India’s great Dhyan Chand(1926-1948) and Balbir Singh Senior(1948-1958), the national teams used to compete in the Olympics only. On abroad tour India competed against teams made of local club players on foreign soil. Therefore Dada Dhyan Chand’s score of 570 goals in 185 matches and that of Balbir Singh Senior’s 246 goals in 51 matches do not qualify for the records. In women’s hockey, record of Marjorie Pollard (1921-1937) of England is unparalleled; she scored 115 goals in 41 matches mostly against home countries’ teams, hence not considered for the records.

In men’s hockey, Pakistan’s Abdul Rashid Junior (1966-1976) first scored 100 international goals.  Rashid Junior, who played centre-forward for Pakistan team has scored 103 goals in 113 international matches. His century (100th) goal was scored through a hat trick against Belgium in Olympics (1976).

In women’s hockey, Netherlands ’Fieke Boekhorst(1976-1988) first scored 100 international goal.  Fieke Boekhorst, who played centre-forward for Netherlands team has scored 128 goals in 116 international matches. Her century (100th) goal was scored, coincidentally, against Belgium too in test match played in May 1984.

Till date, 45 male players of 13 countries and 22 female players of 10 countries have scored 100+ international goals in international hockey.

Pakistan’s Sohail Abbas has 346 goals in men’s hockey while South Africa’s Pietie Coetzee 282 goals are World records in international hockey.

Sohail broke the record of 267 goals scored by Paul Litjens(Netherlands), while Pietie surpassed the record of 220 goals scored by Natella Krasnikova(USSR).

Here are the details of these 67 great players across the globe are given below.

Note- These statistics and records are being released for the first time by B.G. Joshi (India) as an outcome of painstaking research and detailed stat-keeping. Therefore, World Hockey players are requested to peruse the records and contact Mr. Joshi ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for any omission or inadvertent error, if any

100+ goals scored in International Hockey- A: Men (45)

By B.G.Joshi (Sehore-Bhopal, India)


of Players







Jorge Lombi










Matias Pardes





Jaime Dwyer





Mark  Hagers





Jay Stacy





Stephen Davies





Luke Doerner





Chris Ciriello





Troy Elder





Tom Boon





Bjorn Micheal





Christopher Zeller





Carsten Fischer










Florian Fuchs




Great Britain

Ashley Jackson





Barry  Middleton





Calum Giles





Sandeep Singh





VR  Raghunath





Rupinderpal Singh





Dhanraj Pillay





Razie Rahim





Paul Litjens





Floris Jan  Bovelander










Tuen de Nooijer





Stephen Veen





Ties Kruize





Bram Lomans





Taco van der Honert





Mink van der Weerden





Tom van’tHek




New Zealand

Phil Burrows





Simon Child





Hayden Shaw





Sohail Abbas





Hasan Sardar





Tahir Zaman





Abdul Rashid Junior




South Africa

Greg Nicol




South Korea

Jang Jong Hyun





Pau Quemada





Santi Freixa



100+ goals scored in International Hockey- B: Women (22)



Luciana Aymar





Noel Barrionuevo





Carla Rebecchi





Delfina Merino





Alyson Annan





Katrina Powell





Jacqueline Pereira





Jodie Kenny





Nikki Hudson





Natascha Keller





Nadine Ernsting -Krienke





Fanne Rinne




Great Britain

Alex Danson-Bennett





Rani Rampal





Maartje Paumen





Fieke Boekhorst





Wietske de Ruiter




New Zealand

Olivia Merry





Anita Punt McLaren




South Africa

Piete Coetzee




South  Korea

Lim Gae Sook





Natella Krasnikova





EHF re-releases European Championships on EuroHockeyTV

The EHF are delighted to announce that, from midnight on Friday 3rd April, they are re-releasing the Belfius EuroHockey Championships 2019 on www.eurohockeytv.org.
So that everyone worldwide can enjoy what was a hockey highlight of 2019, they are re-releasing the games on a 24/7 loop, FREE to all, so each game will be shown either two or three times in a 24-hour loop!
Angus Kirkland, Director General of the EHF said: “We know that fans are missing our stars, their magic and skills on the pitch, so we have partnered with Grays International to bring you once again the amazing Belfius EuroHockey Championships, RELIVE from Antwerp.

“We have thousands of hours of hockey on EHTV, but the recent Championships really was a special event!
“So set your alarms, gather your family around the TV, spread the word, enjoy the games and cheer on your team from the safety of your home.
“We can’t promise different results, but we do promise that you will be mesmerized by the performances!!!”
Schedule of the games on www.eurohockeytv.org
Belfius EuroHockey Championship, Men

Match Number Pool / Classification LineUp RELIVE date
1 Pool A Spain v Russia 5th April
2 Pool A Netherlands v Belgium 5th April
3 Pool B Germany v Belarus 5th April
4 Pool B England v Ireland 7th April
5 Pool B Germany v England 7th April
6 Pool B Ireland v Belarus 7th April
7 Pool A Spain v Netherlands 9th April
8 Pool A Belgium v Russia 9th April
9 Pool B England v Belarus 9th April
10 Pool B Ireland v Germany 11th April
11 Pool A Netherlands v Russia 11th April
12 Pool A Belgium v Spain 11th April
13 Pool C Russia v Belarus 13th April
14 Pool C Belgium v Ireland 13th April
17 Pool C Belgium v Belarus 13th April
18 Pool C Ireland v Russia 13th April
15 Semi Final 1 Spain v Germany 15th April
16 Semi Final 2 England v Netherlands 15th April
19 3rd/4th Place Spain v England 17th April
20 Final Germany v Netherlands 17th April

Schedule of the games on www.eurohockeytv.org

Belfius EuroHockey Championship – Women

Match Number Pool /Classification LineUp RELIVE date
1 Pool A Belgium v Spain 4th April
2 Pool A England v Wales 4th April
3 Pool B Germany v Soctland 4th April
4 Pool B Netherlands v Ireland 6th April
5 Pool A Spain v Wales 6th April
6 Pool B Ireland v Scotland 6th April
7 Pool A England v Belgium 8th April
8 Pool B Germany v Netherlands 8th April
9 Pool A Spain v England 8th April
10 Pool B Ireland v Germany 10th April
11 Pool B Netherlands v Scotland 10th April
12 Pool A Belgium v Wales 10th April
13 Pool C Wales v Scotland 12th Apri
14 Pool C England v Ireland 12th April
17 Pool C England v Scotland 12th April
18 Pool C Ireland v Wales 12th April
16 Semi Final 2 Netherlands v Spain 14th April
15 Semi Final 1 Belgium v Germany 14th April
19 3rd/4th Place Germany v Netherlands 16th April
20 Final Belgium v Spain 16th April

Euro Hockey League media release

Experience is key for hockey development across PAHF region

Walter Kramer (Chile), Roger St Rose (Trinidad & Tobago)

Sarah Juggins

Roger St Rose (TTO), Walter Kramer (CHI)   

When it comes to hockey development in the Pan American region there are people who have been involved in the sport for so many years and at so many levels that they have developed a formidable mountain of knowledge and experience about what works and what doesn’t.

We interviewed two of hockey’s most knowledgeable officials to get their take on how hockey is developing across our region – from both a playing perspective and an umpiring/officiating perspective.

Walter Kramer sits on the PAHF Board of Directors and is Board Leader for the PAHF Development Panel. He is also President of the Chile Hockey Federation.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Roger St Rose is Chair of the PAHF Umpiring Committee and also sits on the PAHF Education Panel. During a lifetime dedicated to hockey he has been an international player, an international hockey umpire and, just last month, he was named as a nominee for the prestigious 2019 World Fair Play Awards.

Both Walter and Roger are actively involved in promoting hockey and its development at national, continental and global level.

Taking a continental-wide view

While he says that most of his practical experience hockey development is with the Chile Hockey Federation, Walter Kramer’s position on the PAHF Board gives him unique insight into the continental-wide situation.

“Hockey enjoys various degrees of development across PAHF. There are countries like Argentina, who have been a continuous top five country in both genders. Over time this has brought them huge dividends in terms of government support, media, sponsors and fans. Even more importantly, there are loads of boys and girls in Argentina wanting to play the sport.

“In some of our countries, the lack of suitable infrastructure, such as adequate playing surfaces, is something of a barrier when it comes to opportunities for young kids to play more. There is the lack of financial resources needed to really lure more kids into the sport and offer development at its purest nature – coaching, training, playing.

“When it comes to examples of best practice, I don’t think we necessarily know everything that is going on in each country, but I can speak for Chile, where I've been Vice President and President to the Board for the past eight years. Really, we've grown significantly, not only in terms of new players, but also in terms of geographic scope across the country. We focused on getting funding and sponsorship to support a school system comprising 15 schools that were mainly for low income families.

“These kids quickly discovered and loved the sport: they didn’t want to leave, ever. They have discovered the values we all know about hockey, and found a way to jointly fight for growth and fun, standing side by side with their teammates. That is a powerful feeling.”

Looking across the continent as a whole, Walter sums up: “The barriers to development are a lack of financial support and the lack of an infrastructure in the shape of official turfs to play the sport on.

“If we could have artificial turfs built all over the continent in order to equip young or beginning players with the same base conditions as "Olympic Champions" and support them with the best coaching teams. Also, it would be terrific if there could be some budget to bring kids who are at an early learning stage to international tournaments so they could feel and live the experience, that would be a total eye opener and inspiration for them.”

The importance of high umpiring standards to overall development

Developing umpires and officials to mirror the advance of player and team development is something in which Roger St Rose has been heavily involved for a number of years. A top level umpire himself – Roger has umpired at Champions League, World Cup and Olympic Games – he knows how important training and experience of top level competition is for umpires.

“It is important to offer development, training and gradual exposure to games and tournaments, so that their knowledge and understanding in what it takes to become an umpire at the top level is enhanced.”

There is a fine balance to be had between giving umpires experience and ensuring matches are umpired to the highest standard possible. This is where Roger and the PAHF Umpiring Committee comes in.

“Our first mandate is to populate the PAHF tournaments with experienced, solid umpires who can deliver a quality product. What is quite noteworthy is that PAHF has developed a Education Panel to work in conjunction with the FIH Academy to further assist in raising the standard of its officials within the continent. This Panel is to be the umbrella body to deal with all educational things be it practical or theoretical in development of our officials.”

Developing umpiring talent across the entire continental federation is a big ask. There are 26 national associations, operating at different levels. Roger cites the hockey powerhouse of Argentina, with its global influence on the game, comparing it to Haiti, a country in the embryonic stage of development.

“As a result [of this range of development stages],” he says, “the levels of support for umpires in the various countries follows the degree of success that country is achieving at a competitive level. Also, some national associations lack a strong competitive domestic structure and there are few opportunities for umpires to follow a development pathway to become a good national umpire.”

There is also the question of funding. Most national associations funnel their limited finances towards players and player support. Umpire development may then have a fight on its hands to access any remaining funding. With barriers in place to development, many young, aspiring umpires are turned off the idea of progressing towards international level – it is simply too hard.

These are all issues that Roger is setting out to address. He says that it is important that his fellow Board members at PAHF understand the challenges and landscape within which national associations operate when it comes to umpire development. His call is being answered.

“The PAHF Executive Board has mandated its subcommittees to develop processes to deal with identifying, developing and exposing the most promising umpires within the continent,” says Roger. “As such, a number of initiatives have been put in place to support, develop and expose the continent’s promising umpires.”

Among the initiatives are measures such as: ensuring competitive appointments offer an appropriate level of challenge to umpires; channelling financial support to national associations targeted at helping promising umpires to advance; and providing umpire managers to coach and mentor up and coming umpires. 

A major hurdle to the PAHF initiative is the lack of experienced mentors in some countries. This means aspiring umpires often do not, locally, have a guide and support to turn to. This is something that PAHF is addressing by widening the search for mentors. While distance and national borders may present a challenge, there is still the potential for umpire mentors from across the entire continent to talk to and support their lower-level peers – largely through the use of technology such as WhatsApp, Facebook and video technology.

For Roger, raising the level of umpiring is essential for the sport’s development as a whole. “It is said that the level of officiating at games can determine the level in which your sport can reach,” he says. “Therefore, bad officiating produces less skilled players.”

But PAHF, he says, are working hard to address this. “We have identified the areas that PAHF needs to address to bring the level of the game to a particular standard. We, as a continental federation have a very clear mandate – to develop officials who can deliver an international product for the good of the game within our continent.”

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

No champions elected as Hockey Belgium curtails season

By The Hockey Paper

Hockey Belgium has voided the remainder of its men’s and women’s top flight, while Dutch hockey officials have opted to keep its season alive for as long as possible.

No champions have been declared in Belgium, while the top three clubs at the half-way stage of this season have been handed European Hockey League places.

Leopold, Gantoise and Dragons will compete in Europe next season for the men, while Gantoise and Braxgata have been put forward for the women.

Meanwhile, the top two clubs from Division 2 will be promoted. Hockey Belgium also announced no relegation for this season, meaning the leagues will be extended to 14 for the 2020/21 season and the potential of reverting to 12 for the following season.

For recreational competitions and youth hockey, the Belgian Hockey Association has kept the door open to resume competitions later this summer.

The news of the league conclusion was deemed ‘ridiculous’ in some quarters, with Belgium-based Brits Nick Catlin and Darren Cheesman admitting that the league completion was unfair.

Meanwhile in Holland, top brass have taken the decision to prolong the season for as long as possible.

KNHB director Erik Gerritsen said: “We get a massive response from clubs and hockey players that they want to play hockey this season, if at all possible.

“It is also very important for the clubs that we bring life back there. That is central to us.”

England Hockey is set to announce its decision following an imminent board meeting.

The Hockey Paper

Champions Trophy is off – so skipper calls it quits


KUALA LUMPUR: Siti Noor Amarina Ruhani (pic) has been the pillar of the national women’s hockey team for years, having featured in four Asian Games, four Common-wealth Games and with three SEA Games gold medals in her cabinet.

But she has now called it a day, no thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Penang defender and penalty corner specialist has decided to retire after 16 years of national service.

The 33-year-old Siti has represented Malaysia 218 times since 2004. She has been skipper since 2015 and her last outing with the team was at the FIH World Series in Ireland last June.

Malaysia finished third in the eight-nation tournament behind champions South Korea and runners-up Ireland.

Siti has featured in four Asian Games – Doha (2006), Guangzhou (2010), Incheon (2014) and Jakarta (2018) – and four Commonwealth Games, in Melbourne (2006), New Delhi (2010), Glasgow (2014) and Gold Coast, Australia (2018).

She also helped Malaysia win three SEA Games golds in Myanmar (2013), Singapore (2015) and Kuala Lumpur (2017).

Siti, who made her debut in the Indira Ghandi Memorial Cup in New Delhi in 2004, said she decided to retire after the Ireland outing.

“But I stayed on with the hope of playing in one more Asian Champions Trophy in South Korea in June.

“However, the tournament has been postponed due to Covid-19. There is no more major assignment so I decided that it was best to retire, ” said Siti.

“I am already 33 and it is tough for me to undergo tough physical training.

“It is also difficult to last the pace against younger players. I love hockey and I have given my best. I’ve taken this decision with a heavy heart, ” said Siti.

“I have some good memories like helping Malaysia win bronze for the first time in the Asian Champions Trophy in Japan in 2013.

“I was the captain when we finished runners-up to Ireland in the World League second round in Kuala Lumpur to qualify for our first World League semi-finals in Brussels, Belgium in 2017, ” added Siti, who has a degree in Physical Education from Universiti Putra Malaysia.

She has one regret, though – that the team missed the chance to qualify for the semi-finals in the Jakarta Asian Games.

“Japan qualified for the semis as group champions but Malaysia and China were tied with seven points from four matches. We lost out on goal difference, ” said Siti, who hopes to become a coach.

“There are very few women coaches in Malaysia and I would like to contribute. I will attend some coaching courses to get my certificate, ” said Siti.

The Star of Malaysia

22 hockey coaches eye national job

By Jugjet Singh

Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) deputy president Datuk S. Shamala.

THE vacuum left by former national women’s coach, K. Dharmaraj, has attracted candidates from around the world.

A total of 22 coaches, 12 from overseas and 10 local, have applied for the position.

Dharmaraj, who was the national women’s coach from 2017, did not re-apply for the post after his contract expired in December.

Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) deputy president Datuk S. Shamala said they have yet to interview the overseas coaches after the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted air travel.

The 12 coaches are from the Netherlands, Canada, Pakistan, South Korea, England, South Africa and India.

“The interested candidates could not be interviewed as they can’t come to Malaysia because of the Covid-19 movement restrictions worldwide.

“However, a video interview will be conducted soon as we hope to hire the best among the applicants by the end of April,” said Shamala.

MHC will also have to seek the approval of the Sports Ministry, as well as National Sports Council, before naming the successful candidate.

On the local front, MHC have interviewed nine out of 10 applicants, with the exception of Rizal Razman who is overseas currently.

The other seven are former men’s national players Nasihin Nubli, Lailin Abu Hassan, Shaiful Azli, Nasir Maidin, Amin Rahim, Roslan Jamaluddin and Megat Azrafiq.

Two former women’s national players who were interviewed are Ernawati Mahmud and A. Kannagi.

The women’s team were supposed to train for the Asian Champions Trophy in Donghae, South Korea, on June 14-21 but the tournament has since been postponed due to Covid-19.

New Straits Times

Ashley Hoffman looks to improve field hockey in U.S.

By Brian Rippey

Image courtesy US Field Hockey

Ashley Hoffman couldn't hide her disappointment and frustration after the U.S. field hockey team failed to qualify for the Olympics.

Hoffman took to social media and shared her despair with family and friends after Team USA lost to India in a two-game qualifying series in November. She even helped to start a petition drive to urge USA Field Hockey to improve the program.

“It only happens every four years so that's just an extra Olympic cycle that I won't be able to compete in,” said Hoffman, the daughter of an Olympic medalist. “It's definitely frustrating.”

Instead of dwelling on that disappointment, Hoffman and two of her teammates have decided to take action. They launched Be Uncommon, a subscription video tutorial series geared to help field hockey players at all levels improve their games.

The service began on Monday.

“Our mission is to empower each athlete to achieve more through innovative coaching, thinking and passion for the game,” Hoffman said. “Ultimately I hope that we raise the level of field hockey from the bottom up so we can compete with the top teams in the world.”

Joining Hoffman in the business venture are USA teammates Lauren Moyer – Hoffman's former teammate at the University of North Carolina – and Amanda Magadan.

Hoffman, a 23-year-old Twin Valley grad and daughter of 1984 Olympic bronze medalist Brenda (Stauffer) Hoffman, played field hockey almost as soon as she could walk.

She said she started coaching at the youth level when she was in middle school at Twin Valley. A three-time Berks County Player of the Year, Hoffman went on to help North Carolina win a national championship and had her No. 13 retired at UNC after earning the 2018 Honda Sport award for being named the nation's top collegiate field hockey player.

She and her business partners want to pass along their knowledge of the game to anyone interested in field hockey.

“What we need to do is develop both the field hockey player and the whole athlete,” Hoffman said. “What we aim to do is use our hockey curriculum to give quality coaching and skills tutorials to field hockey girls.”

Hoffman said on Monday, Wednesday and Friday the tutorials are geared to teaching skills and training techniques. On Tuesday they instituted a fun challenge on Instagram. Thursday's messages, she said, will be about off-field advancement through such topics as nutrition, yoga and the college recruiting process.

“This has kind of been a goal and dream of ours to do this,” Hoffman said. “I think the timing made it possible to build up since we have so much time on our hands.”

Since the abrupt end to the Olympic qualifying process, Team USA has been mostly on hold while looking for a new training home and now awaiting an end to the coronavirus pandemic. Hoffman said the team had a short training session in Chula Vista, Calif., under new coach Caroline Nelson-Nichols, who was appointed the head coach in late December.

The team, which formerly trained at the Spooky Nook in Lancaster County, is looking for an new permanent training home on the East Coast. Hoffman said many of the players are pushing for a facility in the Philadelphia area.

Those are just some of the latest obstacles Hoffman and her teammates have had to deal with. Hoffman said one of the biggest challenges facing Team USA has been the constant turnover of players.

“I think player retention on the national team has been a huge problem,” Hoffman said. “Had that been addressed earlier I think we could have had a better chance of qualifying.

“It felt like we were rebuilding every single year. We were constantly rebuilding and that has its own challenges.”

Hoffman said the United States had a much younger and less experienced team than India, which had a couple of three-time Olympians and many other veteran players on its roster.

“We need to start seeing that type of player retention in the United States if we want to stand a chance against these other countries,” Hoffman said. “We definitely have to stay innovative in order to stay relevant.”

Part of the Team USA rebuild includes Boyertown grad Ali Campbell, Hamburg grad Karlie Heistand and Twin Valley grad Kelee Lepage, Hoffman's former high school teammate.

They are part of the team that soon will be gearing up to make a run for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

“I'm so excited to have Kelee on my team again,”Hoffman said. “It's amazing because it was a dream of both of ours since we were so little in youth field hockey. To see her hard work, her dedication pay off and earning herself a spot on the national team has been incredible.”

The Reading Eagle

Paying it Forward: Shawn Mayer & Mystx FHC Help to Uniform Ugandan Players

Shawn Mayer is keeping busy and paying it forward, collecting and shipping gently used Mystx Field Hockey Club uniforms to the Wananchi Sports Club in Uganda. The club, which has both women’s and men’s teams, have championship teams. But until the shipment from Mayer, they did not have proper team uniforms.

“The Wanachi club director, who I initially connected with via a Facebook discussion group, was thrilled and sent me the pictures of the happy athletes!”

The club also runs an in-house league with 10 men’s teams and 8 women’s teams, ages 15-25, most of whom Mayer was told are underprivileged youth and all in need of uniforms.

“A few years ago, Mystx was getting new uniforms,” said Mayer. “I had collected the older uniforms in the hopes of them being taken by an organization for use overseas. However, that fell through and they were in my basement for a while.”

Two shipments have been sent to date, in February and March. Mayer has a third box packed and is now collecting uniforms for the fourth box.

“I love that Mystx is reaching out beyond their area to help field hockey players in other parts of the world; they’re paying it forward.”

Mayer said that in addition to skirts and shirts, she has sent t-shirts and pinnies. Donating sticks, she says, would be terrific!

“I would love to get other local clubs to donate uniforms too (along with a $5 shipping donation).” Interested clubs may contact Shawn directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Mayer coaches Mystx FHC’s Seedling program, for athletes in grades 4-6 learning the sport. She also coaches in the U14 division. All of Mayer’s three daughters have been Mystx FHC members. In addition to her club coaching, Mayer is the Head Coach at Lower Moreland High School; the program will enter its inaugural season in the Suburban One League in 2020.

In closing, Mayer gave a shout-out: “Reduce, reuse, recycle, and help another player!”

Content Courtesy of Kathleen Harte Simone, USA Field Hockey Correspondent & Philafieldhockey.com Founder

USFHA media release

Young Colombian Sánchez Díaz using hockey to promote peace and inclusion

Despite the numerous challenges created by the current COVID-19 situation, and ahead of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace on 6 April, we take a moment to reflect on what sport can bring for social cohesion and community building, both of which the world will need even more once it has recovered from this unprecedented health crisis. 

Photo Credit: Juan Sebastián Sánchez Díaz

Juan Sebastián Sánchez Díaz has been using sport to promote health and reconciliation in Colombia for the past six years. A few days before the celebration of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP), he is proud to be able to point to significant progress.

For Juan Sebastián Sánchez Díaz, 6 April has real meaning. In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly declared the date – which reflects the start of the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896 – to be a 24-hour celebration of the power of sport to foster peace and understanding. This is exactly the message Sánchez Díaz devotes his time to spreading across a country long ravaged by internal conflict.

“We have seen a change of mentality in the majority of the students that we work with,” Sánchez Díaz said of his Olympic Workshop initiative, which takes hockey into state schools and encourages communities to come together in reconciliation.

“Understanding how symbolic athletes are in Colombia as role models for youth, and the power they have to deliver change to multiple communities and individuals, has been one of the messages that has struck me the most.”

Photo Credit: Juan Sebastián Sánchez Díaz

While Sánchez Díaz has helped deliver multiple workshops since returning inspired by his stint as a Young Ambassador at the Youth Olympic Games Nanjing 2014, it is a recent development that has got him really excited.

“We have a very special case in Duitama, a city in Colombia, where the students decided to keep the sports club moving forward and decided to start training more people in the community,” Sánchez Díaz explained.

“This has meant that they have had to explore multiple finance options, such as crowdfunding and raffles, to keep their club going. They have been in contact with the Colombian Field Hockey Federation and are on the way to becoming official trainers and even multiplier agents in the country.”

Photo Credit: Juan Sebastián Sánchez Díaz

This is a major step forward for a project which has always relied on enthusing coaches and persuading schools to value the benefits hockey can bring. The requirement for sticks and balls, and to a lesser extent pitches on which to play, has also long been a hurdle. But it too is something Sánchez Díaz feels he is making real progress with.

“We are looking at new ways of generating social and sustainable businesses by delivering the Olympic Workshop,” the 26-year-old explained. “We are exploring how to create the hockey sticks, the uniforms and the balls using recycled materials and involving the wider community.

“This means that we can start focusing on two objectives. On the one hand, delivering our workshop and leaving the required sports equipment to generate sports clubs and, on the other hand, generating income for the communities through the use of recycled materials and involving them more with the project.”

Photo Credit: Juan Sebastián Sánchez Díaz

It appears to be a win-win equation. As does hockey’s relative anonymity in a country obsessed with football – a trait many observers might, understandably but wrongly, assume to be a significant problem.

“With a sport that not many people in Colombia know about, it is easier to generate discussions where everyone is learning and nobody has strong and unmovable viewpoints,” Sánchez Díaz said. “It allows us to foster a participative environment where everyone feels welcome and we are all learning at the same time.”

The ability to react and adapt, as well to proceed and promote, has been key for a project that has been live since late 2014. The latest big change has been a welcome one, with the Olympic Workshop expanding its offering to reach those with special needs.

“I wouldn’t say we’re at 100 per cent inclusion because each context where we deliver the project is very different,” Sánchez Díaz said. “However, our objective is to reach students with cognitive disabilities in order to start generating the first Para-hockey team in the country.

Photo Credit: Juan Sebastián Sánchez Díaz

“In order to do so, we are training the trainers and trying to involve the students’ carers so that it is not only a process with the student but with the family as a whole, particularly in poverty- and violence-stricken locations where our efforts contribute the most to reducing inequalities.

“This means that we are not just focusing on students with special needs. We try to have a project that includes as many people as possible from the communities where we deliver it.”

This trickle-down effect is impressive, as is Sánchez Díaz’s ever-expanding ambition.

“I am always interested in taking the project to more remote areas in the country,” he said. “I also want to keep on exploring other sports that can complement peace and reconciliation processes in the country, contribute to the achievement of the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals] and strengthen my work with the Colombian Olympic Committee and national sports federations.”

IOC Media release

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