The Ordinary Congress of the Asian Hockey Federation 2019 has been concluded. The congress saw delegates from across Asia convene in Gifu City, Japan in order to set the tone for the year in the world of hockey. Delegates from 29 countries participated in the event, along with a few potential members of the Asian Hockey Federation. The Congress was an immensely successful event that saw many delegates receiving awards and distinctions for their services rendered throughout the past years.
The opening ceremony saw a welcome speech and introduction by the Chief Executive of AHF. This included an appointment of Chair and a moment of silence. This was followed by an opening address by the President of AHF. After that welcome addresses were given by the Governor of Gifu Prefecture and Mr. Yokoyama Hide. This was followed closely by the opening remarks by the CEO FIH and Chief Executive AHF.
AHF Progress Report was put forward which discussed Strategic Direction, Focus, Empowering & Engagement, Marketing & Communications, and Corporate & Business Development. After the Progress Report, the Finance & Audit Report was given to audiences.
After this was concluded, the Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony between the Asian Hockey Federation and Uzbekistan Hockey Federation took place, and the Pitch Project went out to Uzbekistan. It was a proud moment for the AHF and this was the first ever Pitch Project that went out to Uzbekistan Hockey Federation. The AHF will continue its support to UHF in this regard. Mr. Satoshi Kondo along with Mr. Tayyab Ikram gave us the latest updates on the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Afterwards, Development, Engagement and National Association’s progress updates were given in which all of the activities of the National Associations were covered. Finally, AHF Statutes and New Amendments were discussed.
Then, the Vote of Thanks and Election of new AHF Executive Board took place. An election was held for the posts of President, Vice Presidents, and Ordinary Members.
The day was concluded with closing remarks from the President-Elect and the Chief Executive.
Some of the highlights from the Congress were:
Air Marshal Nur Khan Award
Nur Khan was handed the reins of Pakistan Hockey Federation as its president in 1976. Under his tenure, the Pakistan Hockey Federation won 2 Olympic Gold Medals (1968 Mexico & 1984 Los Angeles), 2 Hockey World Cups (1978 & 1982) and 2 Hockey Champions Trophy (1978 & 1980). On his personal initiative, the FIH introduced the World Cup Tournament and the Champions Trophy Tournament, which are now rated amongst the major international tournaments, alongside the Olympics. This award is to honor his memory. This award was handed over to Mr. Tahir Zaman from Pakistan.
Sultan Azlan Shah Award
This award is dedicated to the memory and spirit of the late HRH Sultan Azlan Shah, former King of Malaysia, whose commitment to and passion for hockey led to its growth and development during the decades of his Presidency of Malaysian and Asian Hockey. His numerous accomplishments included creating a long-term athlete career program and sustainable education projects, as well as introducing the prestigious Sultan Azlan Shah Cup event. He envisioned and took bold initiatives which were needed to globalize hockey at that time, resulting in enormous growth and development of his favorite sport. This award is designed to celebrate an individual who has not only made outstanding contributions to hockey but also serves as an inspirational role model. This award went to Mr. Sarinder Dillon.
Best Effort Award
This award marks the people who have made the most effort in their respective fields throughout the year. It was handed over to Mr. Ghulam Ghous and Mr. Mathavan Devadas.
Rising Player of the Year 2018 – Male
This award honors the men who have shown exceptional improvement and drive throughout the year in the sport. It went to Mr. Abu Bakr Mahmood (Pakistan).
Rising Player of the Year 2018 – Female
This award honors the women who have exceptional improvement and drive throughout the year in the sport. It went to Ms. Lalremsiami (India).
Player of the Year 2018 – Male
This award honors the men who have shown passion and skill in the sport above all others throughout the year. It was received by Mr. Harmanpreet Singh (India).
Player of the Year 2018 – Female
This award honors the women who have shown passion and skill in the sport above all others throughout the year. It was awarded to Ms. Shihori Oikawa (Japan).
This award is a special appreciation of the services rendered throughout the year by an individual. It was awarded to Dato Abdul Rahim, Dato Manjid Manjit Abdullah and Mr. Mansoor Ibrahim.
Diploma of Merit
Diplomas of Merit were given out to Brigadier Khokhar, Mr. Liu Yuxiang, Ms. Lulu, Mr. Serik, and Captain Talib al Wahibi.
Best Host Award
The Best Host Award recognizes those NAs whose hosting practices of tournaments were the best throughout the year. The Award went to Bangladesh and Korea. This was in recognition of Bangladesh’s hosting of Hero Asia Cup 2017 and Korea’s hosting of Women’s Asian Champions Trophy 2018.
Creative Host Award
The Creative Host Award went to Oman. This was due to their efforts in hosting the Hero Asian Champions trophy.
Women’s Leadership Award
The Women’s Leadership Award recognizes those women who have taken up exceptional leadership roles throughout the year and succeeded in making an impact on those roles. It went to Ms. Cheuchanok Siriwat.
Best Performance Award
The Best Performance Award notes those teams that displayed overall best performance throughout the year in all hockey events combined. This award was taken by the India Men’s, Japan Men’s and Japan Women’s teams.
Order of Merit
This is one of the most prestigious awards given by the AHF. The Order of Merit was awarded to Dr. Shamala and Mr. Anil Sharma.
Best Development Initiative
This was awarded to Afghanistan for their constant efforts towards development in the region.
Promising National Association
This award is given to those NAs that show the most promise of improvement throughout the year. It was awarded to Chinese Taipei.
Best Development Effort
This award recognizes the federation which has put in the most effort into Development activities. This award went to Uzbekistan Hockey Federation.