(Photo: Koen Suyk)

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is delighted to announce that Johan Wakkie, the Executive Director of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Hockey Bond (KNHB), has been awarded one of the sport's highest honours - the Order of Merit. 

Mr Wakkie - who has been Director of KNHB since 1994 and has played a pivotal role in the organisation of the spectacularly successful Rabobank Hockey World Cup, which is currently taking place in The Hague, Netherlands - was presented with his award by FIH President Leandro Negre at a special gathering at the Kurhaus Hotel in Scheveningen. 

The Order of Merit is a medal that recognises exceptional achievements and contributions that are important in the international field. It also acknowledges constructive and positive activity over a period of at least 15 years or a unique personal achievement or contribution which has benefitted international hockey. 

"In his role as Executive Director of KNHB, Johan Wakkie has been a remarkable servant to our fine sport for over 20 years and has achieved some truly remarkable things in that time, including the organisation of not one but two joint Men's and Women's World Cups", said FIH President Leandro Negre. "He has been the driving force of so many great projects, but the staggering success of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup here in The Hague really is his crowning achievement and offer him sincere thanks for his tireless work. The Order of Merit is a very special award and is something that Johan fully deserves. I offer my heartfelt congratulations to him."   

To see a full list of people to have received the FIH Order of Merit, please click here.