Oman to be hub for development of hockey in the region: FIH chief

Sports Tuesday 30/January/2024 20:02 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman to be hub for development of hockey in the region: FIH chief

MUSCAT: FIH President Tayyab Ikram expressed his delight at the seamless execution of the inaugural FIH Hockey5s World Cup in Muscat and anticipated that the event would leave a lasting legacy.

The resplendent Hockey Oman Stadium at Al Amerat, the epicentre of the global tournament, has not only earned accolades from participating teams, players, officials, and fans but stands as a testament to collaborative efforts.

Constructed in less than six months through the concerted efforts of the Oman Hockey Association (OHA) and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, the world-class facilities have set a robust foundation for the game’s development, not only in Oman but also across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.

In a media address alongside OHA President Dr. Marwan Juma Al Juma, Ikram lauded OHA’s tireless endeavours and outlined FIH’s visionary plan to position Oman as the nucleus for hockey development in the GCC region.

Ikram said: “The world-class infrastructure and facilities at the Hockey Oman Stadium has laid a strong foundation for the development of the game not just in Oman but also in the GCC."

“We (FIH) are impressed by what OHA has offered for the inaugural edition of the Hockey5s World Cup and are now keen to make these facilities in Oman as the hub for the development of hockey in the GCC region."

“It will be very important, given the Asian Games in 2030 will be played in Doha and the 2034 Games will be hosted in Saudi Arabia, both countries in the GCC.”

Ikram said: “Legacy of any infrastructure developed for international hockey competitions is always a core subject at FIH. The new stadium built in Oman has a lot of legacy planning done."

“We plan to make it a training centre for international teams. For teams flying from Europe to South Asia or Oceania and vice versa, Oman, and its new stadium, will be an ideal spot to train in the build up to the event, making use of these international facilities of the  highest standard."

“The FIH Academy will also work closely with Oman Hockey Association and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth in Oman to develop a hockey programme that will make use of the facilities to promote a hockey programme for the youth of Oman.”

In a heartfelt expression of gratitude, Ikram extended thanks to the Sultanate of Oman and His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq for their unwavering support, instrumental in elevating the tournament to unprecedented success.

Recognition was also extended to the Oman Hockey Association, Chairman Dr. Marwan Juma Al Juma, the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Youth (MCSY), and His Highness Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham Al Said for their invaluable contributions.

OHA chief Al Juma said: “Ever since we won the right to host the inaugural edition of the FIH Hockey5s World Cup, we have been working really hard to make this the best event we could. A special thanks to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth and His Highness Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham al Said, for all the assistance from the very start.”

Sustainability initiatives

Ikram, applauding Oman’s commitment to sustainability, revealed FIH’s collaboration with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to meet United Nations sustainability guidelines. The introduction of a new dry turf and an eco-conscious ball named ‘Rewetta’ at the Hockey5s World Cup aligns seamlessly with FIH’s mission to curtail water usage in hockey events.
Looking forward, Ikram celebrated the triumph of ‘smaller nations’ in the Hockey5s arena, illustrating the sport’s global accessibility.

Anticipating the future, he announced the incorporation of Hockey5s in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games in Thailand and ongoing discussions with the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games to seamlessly integrate Hockey5s alongside Indoor Hockey, hailing a new era for the sport’s diversified and inclusive growth.