Over the past few days the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Hockey Academy has been delivering a series of courses at the women's Hockey Junior World Cup 2016 in Santiago, Chile, which have highlighted the progress of hockey's development in the Pan American region.
Working with the Pan American Hockey Federation, the Chilean Hockey Federation and in partnership with the World Academy of Sport and FIH Hockey Academy partner Coach Logic, 10 new Coach, Umpire, Technical and Event Manager educators have been certified. It is expected that 19 more will be certified as Level 2 coaches over the coming days whilst 22 umpires were involved in the Advanced Umpiring Course (part of the PAHF Umpire Seminar).
Participants from Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica, Peru and Uruguay have taken part in these courses so far. Whilst the geographic spread of participants is encouraging, the most important point is that half of the participants of the Coaching and Educator courses were women. Better still,14 of the 22 on the Umpiring Course were also female. This is particularly promising with FIH keen to get more women involved at all levels of the sport in a bid to enhance hockey's reputation as 'Gender Amazing'.
In addition to these activities, outside the programme there was a chance to deliver a Workshop to local Technical Officials by new FIH Technical Officials Educator Lorena Rinaldini.
Speaking of the success of these courses, FIH Hockey Academy Manager Andre Oliveira said: "It's fantastic to see both the interest shown in this course and also the attitude of all the participants. There is a real desire to develop hockey in the Pan American region and whilst Argentina have been dominant in this area for many years other nations recognise the importance of structured development strategies, of which are interlinked with the course and workshops we offer."
FIH President, Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra, added: "Yet again we are seeing gender balance in our sport at its best, on this occasion at our FIH Hockey Academy courses. It's very encouraging to see the interest in development amongst these Pan American nations, but more importantly the number of female participants which is crucial in our quest to see more females in key positions across all levels of our sport. I must congratulate both those in delivering these hugely successful courses and also to those who have been certified or completed these courses."
For more information about the FIH Hockey Academy, including upcoming courses, click here.
If you're at the event in Chile, say hello to the course participants who will be at the venue occassionaly in FIH Hockey Academy T-shirts.