The FIH World Stars 2016

[av_slideshow_full size=’featured’ stretch=” animation=’slide’ autoplay=’false’ interval=’5′ control_layout=’av-control-default’ src=” attachment=” attachment_size=” position=’top left’ repeat=’no-repeat’ attach=’scroll’] [av_slide_full id=’9379′][/av_slide_full] [/av_slideshow_full] [av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”] 2016 was another great year for Hockey. Once again the Hockey India League shone, Round 1 of the next World League started, the Junior World Cup took place, the Premier Hockey League in South Africa and of course the cherry on the top, the Olympic Games. Amongst the incredible hockey happenings of the year was the Olympic Games in Rio, which saw both 7th ranked sides emerge as champions as Argentina and Great Britain, in the mens and womens competition respectively, shocked the world to win the gold medal. Today the year of hockey was celebrated in India with the FIH Hockey Star Awards, the World Hockey Awards. Here are the winners of the 2016 Awards.
[/av_textblock] [/av_one_full] [av_hr class=’default’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’50px’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’30px’ custom_margin_bottom=’30px’ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=” icon=’ue808′] [av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=’av-align-top’ space=” margin=’0px’ margin_sync=’true’ padding=’0px’ padding_sync=’true’ border=” border_color=’#000000′ radius=’0px’ radius_sync=’true’ background_color=” src=” attachment=” attachment_size=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_heading heading=’Female Player of the Year – Naomi van As (Netherlands)’ tag=’h3′ style=’blockquote classic-quote’ size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=’custom-color-heading’ custom_font=’#02060a’][/av_heading] [/av_one_full] [av_one_half first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”] Naomi van As is probably my favourite non-South African female hockey player. In 2009 she shared the FIH World Player of the Year with Luciana Aymer, her career has been nothing short of sensational since then. Gold medals at two World Cups, two Olympic Games and three European Championships are complimented by silver medals at the Olympic Games in 2016 as well as the 2010 World Cup.

The Rio Olympics was to be Naomi’s swan-song as the tall midfield/forward has decided to call time on her international hockey career, concentrating upon a burgeoning future in television and media. Presently, the hockey star is presenting a children’s programme and this is something she wants to do a lot more of now she has hung up her stick.

“It’s a great honour to win this award, the FIH World Player of the Year,” says van As. “We were obviously disappointed with the way the 2016 season ended because we lost the Olympic final in Rio via shoot outs to Great Britain. But winning this individual award gives our silver Olympic medal from the Rio Olympics a little more shine.”


[/av_textblock] [/av_one_half] [av_one_half min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_slideshow size=’featured’ animation=’slide’ autoplay=’false’ interval=’5′ control_layout=”] [av_slide slide_type=’image’ id=’9397′ video=” mobile_image=” video_ratio=” title=” link_apply=” link=’lightbox’ link_target=”][/av_slide] [/av_slideshow] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”]

[/av_textblock] [/av_one_half] [av_hr class=’default’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’50px’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’30px’ custom_margin_bottom=’30px’ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=” icon=’ue808′] [av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_heading heading=’Male Player of the Year – John-John Dohmen (Belgium)’ tag=’h3′ style=’blockquote classic-quote’ size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=’custom-color-heading’ custom_font=’#02060a’][/av_heading] [/av_one_full] [av_one_half first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_slideshow size=’featured’ animation=’slide’ autoplay=’false’ interval=’5′ control_layout=”] [av_slide slide_type=’image’ id=’9392′ video=’http://’ mobile_image=” video_ratio=’16:9′ title=” link_apply=” link=’lightbox’ link_target=”][/av_slide] [/av_slideshow] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”] [/av_textblock] [/av_one_half] [av_one_half min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”] Incredibly the Belgian captain has amassed 330 caps and is still only 29 years old. Belgium’s emergence as a powerhouse of Men’s Hockey is perfectly underlined by the collection of finals the Red Lions have made. After being runners up in the World League final and Semi-Final, Belgium marched their way to the final of the Olympic Games in Rio just to be denied at the final hurdle by Argentina. “This trophy is something special because it’s a historical moment for Belgian hockey. It’s just amazing because when I started as an international player, my dream was simply to touch the pitch at an Olympic Games,” said the three-time Olympian.


[/av_textblock] [/av_one_half] [av_hr class=’default’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’50px’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’30px’ custom_margin_bottom=’30px’ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=” icon=’ue808′] [av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_heading heading=’Female Goalkeeper of the Year – Maddie Hinch (Great Britain)’ tag=’h3′ style=’blockquote classic-quote’ size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=’custom-color-heading’ custom_font=’#02060a’][/av_heading] [/av_one_full] [av_one_half first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”] Words: FIH

Maddie Hinch’s little black book has become the stuff of legend. It first became a talking point when, playing for England, Hinch’s heroics in goal during a shoot-out against the Netherlands were attributed in part to her notes on all the Dutch penalty takers.

During the shoot-out against the Netherlands in the final of the Rio Olympic Games, the book and its owner achieved even greater status as she saved all four penalties in the shoot-out. The world number one side were unable to break down Hinch’s defence and all that was left was for her teammates to put their shoot-out attempts into the goal.

Hinch currently plays for Dutch side SCHC, based in Utrecht. She is a three-time nominee for FIH goalkeeper of the year (2014, 2015, 2016) so this is third time lucky for Great Britain and England’s goalkeeping star.

“I am so honoured to receive the 2016 FIH Goalkeeper of the Year Award,” says Hinch. “This is the third time that I have been nominated but to win tops off a pretty surreal year. I am so excited to be here to accept the award in India as I am committed to raising the global profile of the sport. It’s wonderful to have this recognition as an individual, but I play a team sport, and to play at the highest level and win gold medals is always a team effort.”

Previous Winners

2015 – Joyce Sombroek (Netherlands)
2014 – Joyce Sombroek (Netherlands)
[/av_textblock] [/av_one_half] [av_one_half min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_slideshow size=’featured’ animation=’slide’ autoplay=’false’ interval=’5′ control_layout=”] [av_slide slide_type=’image’ id=’9395′ video=’http://’ mobile_image=” video_ratio=’16:9′ title=” link_apply=” link=’lightbox’ link_target=”][/av_slide] [/av_slideshow] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”]

[/av_textblock] [/av_one_half] [av_hr class=’default’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’50px’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’30px’ custom_margin_bottom=’30px’ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=” icon=’ue808′] [av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_heading heading=’Male Goalkeeper of the Year – David Harte (Ireland)’ tag=’h3′ style=’blockquote classic-quote’ size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=’custom-color-heading’ custom_font=’#02060a’][/av_heading] [/av_one_full] [av_one_half first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_slideshow size=’featured’ animation=’slide’ autoplay=’false’ interval=’5′ control_layout=”] [av_slide slide_type=’image’ id=’9394′ video=’http://’ mobile_image=” video_ratio=’16:9′ title=” link_apply=” link=’lightbox’ link_target=”][/av_slide] [/av_slideshow] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”] [/av_textblock] [/av_one_half] [av_one_half min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”] Words: FIH

There is a sense of deja-vu about the Goalkeeper of the Year award as it is the second time in succession that it has gone to David Harte. The giant Irishman has been key to Ireland’s continued rise up the Hero FIH World Rankings and into the history books.

In 2015, Ireland won their first medal at the European Championships when they picked up bronze, then in 2016, they qualified for the Olympics for the first time since 1908. Much of that success has been credited to the man in goal, whose performances for club and country have earned him widespread plaudits and fans.

“To win this award truly is an incredible honour and one which I am very proud to receive,” says Harte. “Even to be nominated for a second time was more than I could have hoped for, especially given the world class goalkeepers involved, such as Juan Vivaldi, Vincent Vanasch, Jaap Stockman and PR Sreejesh, all of whom are deserving of the title in this category.

“Although it is an individual award, it partly belongs to my teams at both club and country level as I would not have made it here without them.

“On the back of 2016 and overcoming a 108 year wait to compete in an Olympic Games, the Irish men’s team is busy preparing for the first step on our quest to compete in a World Cup in 2018. We start by hosting the Hockey World League Round 2 in Belfast which is incredibly exciting for the Irish hockey community and players alike.

“Having reached an all-time high of 10 in the world rankings, we are all determined to push on from here and hopefully, having inspired the future Irish hockey generations, to climb higher with the Green Machine! A busy 2017 awaits between World League events and the European Championships in Amsterdam and I for one can’t wait to get started!”

Previous Winners

2015 – David Harte (Ireland)
2014 – Jaap Stockmann (Netherlands)
[/av_textblock] [/av_one_half] [av_hr class=’default’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’50px’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’30px’ custom_margin_bottom=’30px’ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=” icon=’ue808′] [av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_heading heading=’Female Rising Star of the Year – Maria Granatto (Argentina)’ tag=’h3′ style=’blockquote classic-quote’ size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=’custom-color-heading’ custom_font=’#02060a’][/av_heading] [/av_one_full] [av_one_half first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”] Words: FIH

The blue and white-clad supporters of Las Leonas have a new heroine. Following the retirement of legendary players such as Luciana Aymar and, most recently, Carla Rebecchi, Argentina needed new superstars to lead them in their search for more honours.

One of those stars of the future is Maria Granatto, who burst onto the senior international stage at the Hockey World League Finals in Rosario in 2015, with some scintillating performances.

For a young player, Granatto has a lot of hockey experience. The ebullient forward says she has been playing hockey since she was four years old, joining her three sisters at the Santa Barbara Hockey Club in La Plata, somewhere she refers to as “my second home”.

Granatto already has a list of honours to her name. In 2013 she was part of the senior Argentina team that won the South America Championship, while with the junior side she was a runner-up in the Junior World Cup. The 2016 Junior World Cup saw Granatto and her team go one better as they took gold, beating the Netherlands in the final.

The 2016 Olympics was a disappointment to Las Leonas – they finished in seventh place and slid to third in the world rankings as a result, but Granatto is positive when she talks of the future: “We are a very young group but with a lot of freshness and enthusiasm. We are forming a great team with great players and that makes us very happy for what is coming.”

And, she adds, “I want to emphasise the point that without my team nothing would be possible, they make me enjoy what is happening on the pitch and allow me to play with confidence. I also thank my family who always supports me and is at every step of my life.

Accepting the award that her fellow Las Leonas player, Florencia Habif collected in 2014, Granatto adds: “I am very happy to accept this award. It give me an enormous amount of pride to be among the best players in the world. It is a very gratifying recognition.”


[/av_textblock] [/av_one_half] [av_one_half min_height=” vertical_alignment=’av-align-top’ space=” margin=’0px’ margin_sync=’true’ padding=’0px’ padding_sync=’true’ border=’2′ border_color=’#000000′ radius=’0px’ radius_sync=’true’ background_color=” src=” attachment=” attachment_size=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_slideshow size=’featured’ animation=’slide’ autoplay=’false’ interval=’5′ control_layout=”] [av_slide slide_type=’image’ id=’9393′ video=’http://’ mobile_image=” video_ratio=’16:9′ title=” link_apply=” link=’lightbox’ link_target=”][/av_slide] [/av_slideshow] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”]

[/av_textblock] [/av_one_half] [av_hr class=’default’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’50px’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’30px’ custom_margin_bottom=’30px’ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=” icon=’ue808′] [av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_heading heading=’Male Rising Star of the Year – Arthur van Doren (Belgium)’ tag=’h3′ style=’blockquote classic-quote’ size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=’custom-color-heading’ custom_font=’#02060a’][/av_heading] [/av_one_full] [av_one_half first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_slideshow size=’featured’ animation=’slide’ autoplay=’false’ interval=’5′ control_layout=”] [av_slide slide_type=’image’ id=’9398′ video=’http://’ mobile_image=” video_ratio=’16:9′ title=” link_apply=” link=’lightbox’ link_target=”][/av_slide] [/av_slideshow] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”] [/av_textblock] [/av_one_half] [av_one_half min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”] Words: FIH

It has been a fantastic past few seasons for Belgium and, for one of its players in particular, the last four years have been an almost always upwards trajectory.

22-year-old Arthur Van Doren is one of the Belgium Red Lions who won silver at the Rio Olympics – the first Olympic medal for Belgium since 1920 but, while he may be young, Van Doren is already a veteran of the team – he has played for the national side since he was 17.

During his international career, mirroring his country, Van Doren has been racking up the honours. At the 2010 Youth Olympic Games he and his team won bronze; in 2011 Belgium were crowned U18 champions; a year later he was part of the team that won the European U21 Championships. In 2013 Belgium won the Hockey World League Semi-Finals, thus guaranteeing a place at the 2014 World Cup; in 2015 Belgium claimed silver at the HWL Finals in Raipur. The best moment in an already stellar career was, says Van Doren unsurprisingly, “silver at Rio 2016”.

On a personal level, Van Doren won the 2012 Golden Stick (juniors), which is awarded to the best U21 player in Belgium, and two years later he was voted Belgium’s best player with the Golden Stick (seniors).

When it comes to FIH awards, this is third time lucky for the Belgium player. He was also nominated in 2013 and 2014.

“It is a huge honour to be named FIH Rising Star of the year,” says Van Doren. “2016 has been a special year for us. Belgian hockey has been growing over the past few years and we showed that by winning the Olympic silver medal in Rio. These results obviously aren’t given to you. We trained pretty much everyday in the 2016, worked very hard to reach our goal.”


[/av_textblock] [/av_one_half] [av_hr class=’default’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’50px’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’30px’ custom_margin_bottom=’30px’ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=” icon=’ue808′] [av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_heading heading=’Female Coach of the Year – Karen Brown (Great Britain)’ tag=’h3′ style=’blockquote classic-quote’ size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=’custom-color-heading’ custom_font=’#02060a’][/av_heading] [/av_one_full] [av_one_half first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”] Words: FIH

For the second year running Karen Brown has been awarded the Female Coach of the Year and, as she moves out of a coaching role with the national team into a mentoring and consulting role, she pays tribute to the team effort by the Great Britain coaching staff.

“The thing that made us successful was our attention to detail,” says the unassuming Brown, a veteran of six Olympic cycles as player and coach. ”A lot of people say we were lucky [to win Olympic gold], but I think we played well without the ball. We had been building towards this for the last eight years. We used everything we had learnt during past experiences to decide what worked and what didn’t work. That sounds simple but it is actually very difficult.”

During her playing career, Brown was England and Great Britain’s second-highest capped player of all time, with 355 caps to her name, as well as Olympic Bronze, European Gold and Commonwealth Silver medals. Add to that Olympic Gold and Bronze, European Gold, Commonwealth Silver and World Cup Bronze as a coach, and her achievements on and off the pitch are substantial.

Karen had a strategic role in establishing and evolving the conceptual and cultural foundations for the set up of an elite athlete Centralised Programme for the Great Britain athletes, coaches and support staff in 2009, a programme that has gone onto win back to back medals at the last two Olympiads.

“Reflecting back now, I am really proud of what we achieved, and how we worked as a staff. We all had each others back and everyone played their role. This award represents that teamwork.”
[/av_textblock] [/av_one_half][av_one_half min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_slideshow size=’featured’ animation=’slide’ autoplay=’false’ interval=’5′ control_layout=”] [av_slide slide_type=’image’ id=’9390′ video=’http://’ mobile_image=” video_ratio=’16:9′ title=” link_apply=” link=’lightbox’ link_target=”][/av_slide] [/av_slideshow] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”]

[/av_textblock] [/av_one_half][av_hr class=’default’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’50px’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’30px’ custom_margin_bottom=’30px’ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=” icon=’ue808′] [av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_heading heading=’Male Coach of the Year – Danny Kerry (Great Britain)’ tag=’h3′ style=’blockquote classic-quote’ size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=’custom-color-heading’ custom_font=’#02060a’][/av_heading] [/av_one_full] [av_one_half first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_slideshow size=’featured’ animation=’slide’ autoplay=’false’ interval=’5′ control_layout=”] [av_slide slide_type=’image’ id=’9396′ video=’http://’ mobile_image=” video_ratio=’16:9′ title=” link_apply=” link=’lightbox’ link_target=”][/av_slide] [/av_slideshow] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”] [/av_textblock] [/av_one_half][av_one_half min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”] Words: FIH

Since taking over the reins as head coach to Great Britain and England in 2005 [apart from an 18 month spell in 2013-14], Kerry and his teams have largely been on an upwards trajectory. Great Britain went from non-qualifiers for the 2004 Olympics, to sixth at Beijing 2008 (against a world ranking of 11), they then won bronze at the London 2012 Olympics and finally, emerged triumphant from the Deodoro Stadium in August 2016. Since the win, the team has received plaudits from the public and the media but Kerry has very much stayed in the background. This award shines a spotlight on the man that striker Alex Danson refers to as “a master tactician.”

The roll call of medals won by either Great Britain or England [depending upon the competition] is nothing short of hugely impressive. In 2009-2010, England under Kerry won bronze medals at the European Cup, the Champions Trophy, the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games. 2011-12 saw England win bronze at the European Nations Cup, silver at the Champions Trophy and Bronze at the 2012 Olympic Games.

A silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games was followed by winning the HWL Semi-Finals in 2015; a gold medal at the European Nations Cup and, of course, gold at the Rio Olympics.

However, despite the success, there is no chance that Kerry will be packing away his coaching notes just yet. Since Rio, he has returned as head coach to England and Great Britain women’s hockey, he has spent time speaking to England Rugby about his coaching principles and is a mentor to Football Premier League Academy Coaches.

Talking about receiving the FIH Coach of the Year award, Kerry says: “I am humbled to be given the award. The fact that my fellow coaches from around the world were part of the voting process and the fact that this was an Olympic year makes it all the more meaningful and special.”

Kerry pays tribute to his athletes and coaching staff, although one member of the coaching team gets a special mention. “I am delighted that Karen [Brown] has received Female Coach of the Year, she has been a subtle and yet enormous influence on our programme. With Karen you can always be sure that she will deliver what is required, no matter the level of pressure. We have worked together for nearly twelve years and our partnership has developed and grown.”

On Maddie Hinch receiving Goalkeeper of the Year, Kerry says: “Maddie captured the heart of the nation during the Olympic final and her passion for the game has been obvious. I am delighted her endeavours have been recognised.”
[/av_textblock] [/av_one_half][av_hr class=’default’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’50px’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’30px’ custom_margin_bottom=’30px’ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=” icon=’ue808′] [av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_heading heading=’Female Umpiring Award – Laurine Delforge (Spain)’ tag=’h3′ style=’blockquote classic-quote’ size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=’custom-color-heading’ custom_font=’#02060a’][/av_heading] [/av_one_full] [av_one_half first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”] Words: FIH

Laurine Delforge is both a top umpire and a top player. The 26-year-old from Belgium plays club hockey in the Belgium premier league and represents her country at indoor hockey but, despite her impressive playing credentials, on the international hockey scene, Laurine is best known as one of the leading umpires of her generation.

Rio 2016 was Laurine’s first Olympic Games but she began her umpiring career nine years ago in 2008. In just four short years, she received her international badge and was umpiring top flight hockey at the 2014 World Cup in the Hague.

In Rio, she achieved the ultimate honour as she joined Michelle Joubert as one of the umpires officiating at the final.

Talking about her award as FIH Umpire of the Year, Laurine is typically modest: “Winning awards is clearly not the reason why I umpire and will never be, but I am of course very pleased to see my achievements of last summer being recognised in such a way.

“My preparation leading to Rio paid off and I was lucky enough to umpire the final at my first Olympics. But umpiring is a team sport, and if I have done well in Rio, It is also because my colleagues did a great job as well. I am the one being put in the spotlight today, but  many more umpires deserve a medal for their hard work and dedication behind the scenes.”

Of course, we always think about the reactions of the players during an Olympic final but, as Laurine explains, it is a very special moment for the umpires too. “The highlight of last year was without any doubt Rio 2016. My dream of being part of the Olympics became true, and I ended up umpiring the final.

“I will always remember the final whistle I gave after Hollie Webb from Great Britain scored the last shoot out in the final match vs Netherlands. Time kind of stopped for a while. I took my time to blow the whistle and truly enjoy the moment. After months of efforts and nerves, I could finally say to myself: ‘Yes, I did it’. It was a feeling of relief which is quite difficult to describe. I hope my story can inspire young players to take on umpiring and live the same . I can assure them that it is an incredible adventure!”
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Christian Blasch is a vastly experienced international umpire who has been part of the top tier of umpiring since 2003.

He made his international debut in 1998 and joined the World Panel in 2003. The German umpire’s first major event was the 2002 Champions Trophy in Cologne, Germany, where he took charge of the fifth/sixth place match between Australia and Korea.

Since then, Blasch has umpired a phenomenal amount of international matches, including three World Cups (2006, 2010 and 2014) and four Olympic Games (2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016). He umpired the semi-finals between Australia and Great Britain in 2012 and the final between Argentina and Belgium in 2016.

In total, the 42-year-old father of two has umpired 161 senior internationals and a further 14 junior events. He is also extremely involved in the EuroHockey League and has umpired 38 top level matches in the past 10 years of EHL competition.

EHF president Marijke Fleuren spoke of her delight that Blasch has been rewarded and recognised for his umpiring ability: “We in the EHF have already admired Christian for a long time because of his professional and neutral management of the game and his almost ‘regal’ attitude on the pitch! We congratulate him for this prestigious award. We are delighted for him.”
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