Dubai Sports City, the world’s first purpose-built sports city, today announced a strategic, long-term partnership with the International Hockey Federation.
In a press briefing during the BDO Hockey World Cup in Germany, Dubai Sports City executives announced the establishment of an International Hockey Federation academy – to be known as the WorldHockey Academy – which will be managed and run by Dubai Sports City.
This Academy will be the first FIH academy of its kind and will operate at the 5,000 seat field hockey facility being built at Dubai Sports City.
Although specific details about its operation have yet to be finalised, the World Hockey Academy will provide hockey coaching of the highest professional levels from seasoned hockey coaches, many of whom will have represented their countries in the international arena.
It will offer residential coaching courses from grass roots to elite levels and will open in early 2008.
Hockey players, both professional and amateur, will be able to take advantage of the WorldHockey Academy, as well as other professionals working in the field of hockey such as referees, administrators and coaches.
Housed in Dubai Sport City’s 5000 capacity hockey stadium, built to the guidelines and standards of the International Hockey Federation, the Academy will boast state-of-the-art facilities backed by a highly sophisticated sports medicine system.
Separate match and practice pitches, exclusive VIP and press seating areas, administrative and management offices, umpire and player areas featuring changing rooms, medical facilities and food kiosks at the stadium will complement this world class facility.
On-site accommodation will provide opportunities for short and long-term live-in training camps with access to general sporting facilities such as a state-of-the-art gymnasium, a 50 metre swimming pool and a world-class sports rehabilitation clinic, in addition to the overall community facilities at Dubai Sports City.
“Hockey is one of our key sports and we are delighted to announce the establishment of the WorldHockey Academy at Dubai Sports City in conjunction with the International Hockey Federation,” Mr. Khalid Al Zarooni, President of Dubai Sports City, said
“Training and development is at the heart of the Dubai Sports City ethos. We have entered into partnerships with some of the world’s biggest and best global brands to establish world-class training centres of excellence - Manchester United Soccer Schools, Butch Harmon School of Golf, David Lloyd Tennis Academy and the International Cricket Council Global Cricket Academy - all these being experts and champions in their chosen fields,” Mr. U. Balasubramaniam, CEO of Dubai Sports City, said.
“It is only logical that we seek to work with the governing body of hockey in the same way and we are excited about the opportunities this will create.”
Mrs Els van Breda Vriesman, President of the International Hockey Federation, added her support: “This is a significant day in the development of world field hockey and indeed in the evolution of the International Hockey Federation. This association with Dubai Sports City will not only serve to boost the profile of field hockey on the international stage but will also provide first-class, leading-edge training facilities to better the standards of professionalism and play within the sport and thus securing the future of hockey in the world today.
“Although we have yet to scope out the specific operations of the WorldHockey Academy, we know we have found exactly the right partner in Dubai Sports City because of its vision for the development of global sport and the commitment of other first-class sporting names to the project so far.”
Dubai’s central geographic location between the Northern and Southern hemispheres makes the WorldHockey Academy the preferred destination for coaches, players and national teams alike.
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