Marijke Fleuren honoured as Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau

Former EuroHockey President and FIH Executive Board member Marijke Fleuren received the prestigious distinction of Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau.

At a special presentation during the ABN AMRO EHL FINAL8 weekend, she received the elevated in the Dutch honours system. Officers have generally rendered outstanding service of national or international importance.

EuroHockey was delighted to be among those who recommended Marijke for the award for her passionate role in the development of hockey and, in particular, gender equality and inclusion.

Through her personal touch and boundless energy, Marijke is a vibrant figurehead and progressive champion of sport for all, a change-maker who has helped transform our hockey – and many people’s lives – through her effervescent commitment to making life more understanding and inclusive.

As a background, she has held a multitude of important roles in the international sporting realm. She has served for 12 years as President of the European Hockey Federation (EuroHockey) since 2011 in tandem with a role on the International Hockey Federation’s executive board. She has held both of these positions on a voluntary basis.

She rose to these leadership roles having been involved with the KNHB in all aspects and at all levels, including Vice President of the federation’s organising committees. She was named an honorary member in 2002 for her contributions. 

Marijke Fleuren, above, presented with the Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau with by Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam Sofyan Mbarki, with her husband Gertjan and then with her family. Pictures: Frank Uijlenbroek/World Sport Pics

Since 2015, she has been a member of the IOC’s Women in Sport Commission which exists to promote equal opportunities for girls and women to participate in, and benefit from sport and physical activity.

She is a founder of the Safe Climate Campaign Sport for the Dutch National Olympic Committee.

Her personal slogan is “I like to hear what is possible, not what is impossible” and that has carried through to her leadership roles and the inspiring projects she has undertaken.

Chief among them is EurHockey’s Equally Amazing Charter which pushed for everyone, at every level from the boardroom to the pitch, to get access to the same opportunities, no matter gender, age, race, religiion or skill level.

The Charter was a collaborative effort between the EHF and its 43 National Associations with Marijke very much a driving force. 

In terms of gender equality, this has manifested itself into the highest governance principles with the EuroHockey leading the way on gender-equality on its executive board.

Similarly, all of the EuroHockey’s competitions are now organised, promoted and showcased on a gender-equal basis with initiatives replicating this ambition across the sport from athletes, coaches, umpires, youth panels, up to board level.

During her time as EuroHockey President, one of her great joys has been the emergence of Hockey ID. From humble beginnings at the start of her tenure, it has grown into an biennial festival. Teams from around the continent come together for an event which shares a stage of the European Championships. 

These are among the key initiatives that have seen her honoured as a Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau in 2014, the FIH President’s Award in 2018 and, last year, the Gerda Eeuwijk Prize for her commitment to the collective labour agreement and for equal opportunities for women and men in sport.

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