On Friday June 22nd the President, Marijke Fleuren and Director General, Angus Kirkland travelled to Rome to meet with Italian Hockey Federation.
They were met at the airport by well-known EHF official Anna Grazia Puglia. Having settled in the hotel, they headed to the offices of the Federazione Italiana Hockey where the President, Sergio Mignardi, introduced us to the staff of the Federation headed by Secretary General Francesca Vici and many of the Board members. Over the last few years the Federation has been focused on growing the number of people playing hockey. Focussing on youth hockey is the main goal.
From the offices they travelled to the Olympic Stadium where they had a lunch with members of the Italian Olympic Committee and regional sporting representatives. The President, speaking on behalf of the EHF thanked the Federation for their ongoing work noting that it was clear, in the short visit, that Italian hockey was moving in the right direction. Marijke also thanked Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) represented by the President of CONI Mr, Giovanni Malago amd General Director Mr. Alberto Miglietta for their important support of Hockey and presented them with a gift from EHF.
They then paid a visit to the Academia to see the younger generation at work. As well the teams as the umpires.
In the evening they were invited to a dinner attended by several Board members including EHF committee members Sabina Zampetti and Stefano Pagliara. The President thanked the Federation for their kind hospitality and encouraged the Federation to keep working, not only domestically but also internationally, on strengthening hockey in Italy.
A short walk back to the hotel ensured that they took in some of the beauties of Rome, the magnificent Trevi Fountain and the memorial of Emperor Augustus.
The following day Angus had the opportunity to see the finals of the Super Cup and a friendly match between Italy and France women.
Angus Kirkland said “Although it was a whirlwind trip, we were delighted to see the progress being made especially with the youth. Our sincere thanks to all at Italian Hockey who made us feel so welcome.”