FIH President Tayyab Ikram participated to a number of events and meetings in various European countries at the end of June.
His journey started with the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin where hockey was, for the very time, on the programme, as a demonstration sport. On this occasion, he signed, on behalf of FIH, a Memorandum of Understanding between FIH and Special Olympics. He also met the President of the German Olympic Committee, Thomas Weikert, with whom he had very fruitful talks.
“On behalf of FIH, I would like to express our gratitude to Special Olympics for partnering with us to boost the development of hockey for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It’s no coincidence if the signature of this Memorandum of Understanding occurs as FIH celebrates its Inclusion and Diversity Day today and hockey has made its first-ever appearance at the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin this year. Hockey is for all!”, President Ikram said.
The next day, he went to Poland where he attended the General Assembly of the Hockey National Association and made a presentation of the recently-launched FIH Empowerment and Engagement strategy. Sustainability was a central theme too. The FIH President also had the honour to meet the Mayor of Gniezno, Michał Powałowski, with whom he had a very constructive and insightful exchange.
As he was in Poland ahead of the Eurohockey5s Championship qualifying for the inaugural FIH Hockey5s World Cup, he had an interaction with the players of the participating teams. “I had such a great exchange with the players! I always find it so inspiring to listen to athletes. Their inputs are absolutely necessary to improve and develop our sport”, he stated afterwards.
Next step was the Wagener Stadium in Amstelveen, Holland, which saw the Dutch women being crowned FIH Hockey Pro League champions for the third time in four editions! He handed over personally the winner’s trophy to the victorious team. And he went even further by awarding an FIH Excellence Trophy to the dominating Dutch to congratulate them for their impressive successes in all top events – Olympics, FIH Hockey World Cup, FIH Hockey Pro League, Euros – since many years now.
In the Netherlands, he also met Michael Vogel, Chief Executive Officer of Tencate Grass, to discuss the progress made about the manufacturing of dry pitches as well as other sustainability initiatives. KNHB President Erik Klein and former Dutch captain and hockey star Teun de Nooijer were in attendance too.
The ”Hockey at its Best” League led President Ikram to his next destination: Antwerp, Belgium. That gave him another opportunity to introduce the FIH Empowerment and Engagement strategy, this time to all Pro League nations who were gathered in the Belgian city for a workshop. He also attended Pro League matches at the stadium.
In both Pro League venues, the 2026 FIH Hockey World Cup – a combined Women and Men event which Belgium and the Netherlands will co-host – was a topic as he met with the Sports Minister of Flanders, Belgium, Ben Weyts and the Mayor of Amstelveen, Tjapko Poppens.