The Executive Board of the European Hockey Federation met for the first time in 2016 last weekend, in Brussels, Belgium. The Board was in full attendance and lively discussions were held.

Vice-President Carola Meyer opened the meeting due to the President’s making a presentation to the Directors Sport of the EU in Amsterdam. Carola read a message from Marijke and asked for a moment of silence to be held in respect of Gerry Ralph’s recent passing.

The Executive Board received reports from:

Development Projects Committee Chair, Gianni Rossi updated the Board on the main committee initiatives and its committee meeting held in Lisbon, Portugal March 6th. A warm thank you was extended to the Federaçao Portuguesa de Hoquei for their hospitality and work in hosting the committee. An update was given on the progress of the Twinning initiative with the KNHB, as well as the progress of the Youth Panel recruitment drive. The Committee continues its work with ParaHockey, this year supporting an integration tournament in Essen, Germany in June.
Club of the Year 2015 applicants were discussed and winners were approved by the Board. An official announcement will follow in the coming week. Lastly, an update on the Turkey TAP joint initiative with the FIH, KNHB and Turkish Hockey was well-received.

Education Committee Chair Inez Cooper updated the Board on the work being done by its three working groups Coaching, Umpiring and Officials. The Committee met jointly with the Development Projects Committee in Portugal, and Inez joined Gianni in thanking Portugal, as well as the Portuguese National Olympic Committee for lending its offices for the committee meetings. After the meeting it became public that Joana Goncalves received an award in recognition of her work from her NOC. A huge achievement! The Board extended its warm congratulations to Joana.

All three working groups sent in reports detailing their planned actions for the year, as well as their priorities moving forward.

Communications Committee Chair Simon Mason presented his committee’s report, highlighting the success of the Live Streaming Project during the Indoor season, and outlining the next streaming targets for 2016. Statistics for all of EHF’s Social Media channels were presented and discussed, as well as the committee’s content and digital plan moving forward. During his report, Simon also took a moment to remember Graham Wilson whose recent passing was mourned by the Board.

Competitions Committee Outdoor Chair Bjorn Isberg presented his committee’s report, and submitted for approval its recommendations for host venues for 2017 EuroHockey Championships and 2017 EuroHockey Junior Championships. A full list of venues for the EuroHockey Championships can be found here and a full list of venues for the EuroHockey Junior Championships can be found here.

The following venues were approved by the Executive Board

Championship II (Men) – Sat 5/ Sun 13 Aug – Scotland (Glasgow)
Championship II (Women) – Sat 5/ Sun 13 Aug – Wales (Cardiff)
Championship III (Men & Women) – Sun 30 Jul/Sat 5 Aug – Croatia (Sveti Ivan Zelina)
Championship IV (Men) – Mon 31 Jul / Sat 5 Aug – Slovenia (Lipovci)

The following venues were approved by the Executive Board.

Junior Championship (Men & Women) – Mon 28 Aug/ Sun 3 Sept – Spain (Valencia)
Junior Championship II (Men) – Sun 16/Sat 22 Jul – Russia (St. Petersburg)
Junior Championship II (Women) – Sun 16/Sat 22 Jul – Czech Republic (Hradec Kralove)
Junior Championship III (Men) – TBD

The Board also received an update on the withdrawals and changes to the Outdoor Nations events coming up in 2016.

Competitions Committee Indoor Chair Walter Kapounek presented his committee’s report on the recently concluded Indoor season. Walter outlined the Committee’s priorities for the next period which include preparation of indoor tournaments 2017 and entry and applications for 2018. The next meeting of Indoor Committee will be held May 7th 2016 in Brussels.

Euro Hockey League EHF Vice-President Jorge Alcover gave a preview of the upcoming KO16 in Amsterdam. 12 challenging matches will be played over 4 days during Easter. Tickets can be purchased on the EHL website, click here!  Final 4 will be held in Barcelona on Whitsun Saturday and Sunday.

Director General’s Report Angus Kirkland updated the Board on the Event Portfolio Working Group meetings and CFs meetings that took place in Lausanne in February, several items were discussed by the Board. Angus went on to present an overview of the first discussions regarding the Strategic Plan 2017-2024. In June the Board shall discuss further. An update was then given on EHC2017 and bids for EHC2019.

Honorary Treasurer Mika Rihtila presented his report and updated the Board on the end of year accounts for 2015 and the budget for 2016. The President complimented him for the positive outcome of 2015.

Appointments Committee Report was given by EHF Director General Angus Kirkland. Analysis of appointments from the recently completed Indoor Season was provided. The President thanked the committee for their hard work during the Indoor season, which can prove challenging due to a high number of withdrawals.

Marijke closed the meeting by thanking the Board for their attendance, lively contributions and work. She especially thanked Carola for taking on the chair role during the first part of the meeting and the staff for their dedicated and professional preparations.