HOCKEY5s, a drive towards pitch options that reduce or remove the need for water and the importance of continuing to update, review and then implement quality standards across a growing range of equipment and facilities were among the key messages discussed during a recent FIH Quality Programme webinar.
During the webinar, led by FIH Facilities and Quality Programme Manager Alastair Cox FIH Sport and FIH Development Director Jon Wyatt, the more than 90 participants from around the world were also informed about the importance of HOCKEY5s for opening up the sport to a new audience. The attendees on the webinar were shown a mock-up of how a HOCKEY5s tournament in the centre of Lausanne might look.
“It’s a growing format, to complement the other formats.” said Wyatt. “It will attract new audiences, with showcase events played in iconic city venues. We are encouraging people to play it on any facility and any surface.”
Supporting the drive to encourage investment in HOCKEY5s facilities, new guidance documents are being produced and will be available soon on the FIH website.
Hockey5s is one way in which hockey can both encourage more participants and demonstrate its ability to adapt and become more sustainable. This, said the Sport and Development Director, was just one of many ways that hockey was pushing forwards in sustainability. “There is such a lot of good activity already happening within hockey across all areas of Sustainability as defined by the IOC – Economic, Environmental and Social.” he said, “We now need to bring it all together, recognise this existing work, identify areas that we need to improve, set targets across all areas and report regularly against it.”
The final part of Wyatt’s message was around the transition from wet pitches to dry pitches in a bid to reduce water usage within the sport. The very clear message was that this would be a gradual transition and organisations that had just invested in wet pitch facilities would not be expected to transition until their pitch facilities reached the end of their natural life-span.