While the younger members of the hockey community will be battling it out at the Kyocera Hockey Stadium for the title of Rabobank Hockey World Champions, stadiums across the Netherlands will become the settings for the Masters Hockey World Cups, where a raft of other titles will be up for grabs. More than 2,000 competitors, male and female, will represent 110 teams from 21 different National Associations. Masters World Cups will be battled out in every age group from 40+ including, for the first time, 60+ women and 75+ men. The events will take place to coincide with the Rabobank Hockey World Cup, enabling age group competitors to both spectate and play hockey at the highest level.
And if anyone thought that hockey players became less competitive as they got older, they would be wise to take a trip to the Masters Hockey and see some of the game's greats continue to demonstrate their skills and maintain rivalries that have, in some cases, lasted decades.
The Masters Hockey scene has grown and developed over the past few years as more players of all ages are keen to extend their playing career. To support that growth, the International Hockey Federation (FIH), along with the World Grand Masters Association (WGMA) and International Masters Hockey Association (IMHA) has created the newly constituted FIH Masters Hockey Panel.
Chaired by FIH Executive Board member and former England Women’s Masters player, Sue Catton, the panel has been set up to lead the worldwide development of international Masters Hockey while driving participation via FIH’s Continental Federations and National Associations.
FIH President Leandro Negre welcomed the initiative, saying: “Inclusivity is one of FIH’s core values. The ability to play our sport at any age or ability is central to hockey’s appeal. Working in partnership with the WGMA and IMHA, we will encourage and support more National Associations to get involved. The scale of the events that have been organised to date are incredible and we really are excited to be able to support these better.”
The second FIH Masters Hockey World Cup will take place at the Hockey Club Rotterdam, from June 5 – 13.
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