The European Hockey Federation (EHF) held its 34th General assembly online with 37 member national associations in attendance on 8th October 2022.
The EHF President Marijke Fleuren, welcomed all Member Associations, Executive Board Members, Members of Honour, Diploma of Merit holders, and EHF Executive Board election candidates to our virtual 34th General Assembly.
Marijke delivered her 2022 President’s Report, titled “Moving Ahead Step by Step”. It took a more serious tone than usual, taking in the aftermath of the pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine and its consequences for our sport.
With ongoing restrictions at the start of 2022, she reflected on the challenges still in place to run events, particularly in the early part of the year with several events rescheduled or cancelled from early in the year.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine was, of course, a defining feature of the year. She hailed the heart-warming work and support around the continent to help the humanitarian effort in many and varied ways, particularly hailing the Polish Hockey Federation for going “ above and beyond for their neighbours”.
The hope is 2023 will provide smoother sailing with the pandemic’s impact lessening and preparations are being made should Russia and Belarus – if peace comes – be in a position to return to the hockey family.
On a more positive note, Marijke welcomed the return of crowds for the EHL Men and Women with hosts AH&BC Amsterdam winning the latter and Bloemendaal the former. The World Cup in Spain and the Netherlands offered another celebration of hockey with the Dutch winning their third successive title. That event dovetailed with a personal highlight for Marijke – the hosting of the EuroHockey ID Championships in Pinoké.
July kicked one of the EHF’s busiest summers on record with a first EuroHockey5s senior event as well Under-16 5s events in Switzerland and Turkey. Six Under-21 tournaments took place before eight concurrent EuroHockey Championship qualifiers took place across the continent in August to complete the line-up for next summer’s main event in Monchengladbach.
She took the opportunity to give a special honour to all the volunteers, officials and staff who made such a wide variety of tournaments happen, saying: “We all know that without them we would not have tournaments. But I am especially thrilled by the way they are performing. Happy, laughing, singing and forming a group of friends built up during the tournament. Their performances can be career changing, but still they are able to enjoy themselves.”
Marijke expressed her hope that everyone in attendance who is eligible to cast a vote for their national federation to support the best worldwide candidates for FIH President and the FIH Executive Board on 4th and 5th November at the FIH Congress.
She closed by thanking the board for their continued support and praised the hard work of the EHF staff for their hard work and positive attitude.
“The staff, It is remarkable and fantastic what all and each of you bring to the EHF. We are very grateful to you. Last but not least to Angus, Thank you for your never ending positive attitude, for your hard work and for your great support and loyalty to your staff. Your support to me helps me to go through the most challenging moments.”
EHF Treasurer Mika Rihtila presented the audited accounts for 2021 and the Budget for 2023 and both were approved, along with the proposal to keep the subscriptions for 2023 and 2024 the same as for 2022.
It was proposed to re-appoint Caroline Baert of PVMD as Auditor for the year 2023 and this was approved.
The European candidates for election to the FIH Executive Board were given the opportunity to outline their pitches to be elected at the FIH Congress in November. Marc Coudron spoke about his hope to become the FIH President.
For the FIH Executive Board elections, Simon Mason and Piotr Wilkonski are on a shortlist of seven candidates going for two male places while Marion Rodewald is on a shortlist of three for the two female places.
Jokko de Wit (EHF Partnerships Manager) updated delegates on the development of EHTV+, a video eco-system for club hockey, federations and leagues.
Tom Pedersen-Smith (EHF Head of National Association Development, Education and Funding) updated delegates on EHF Solidarity Grants. 22 nations have applied for these grants which have helped develop coaching pathways, officiating courses, governance, innovation and athletes.
The 35th General Assembly was recorded, and a copy will be sent to our Member Associations in the coming days. You can find the 34th EHF General Assembly presentation and video here
The date and venue for the 35th General Assembly which will be held in 2023 in Monchengladbach (GER). It will be spread over two days, starting on Thursday, 17th August, continuing on Friday, 18th August.