Olympic silver medallists; Belgium’s John-John Dohmen and retiring Netherlands star Naomi Van As, were named the respective male and female players of the year for 2016.
Belgium men’s Rio 2016 medal success was a big factor in the nation’s athletes picking up two awards, Dohmen’s compatriot Arthur Van Doren was named male rising star of the year (aged 23 years and under). Maria Granatto from Argentina picked up female rising star of the year after period which saw her team win the 2016 Hockey Champions Trophy, where she won best junior player, as well as being crowned Hockey Junior World Cup champions in November 2016.
The coaching team who guided Great Britain’s women to their first ever Olympic gold medal were also recognised as Danny Kerry and Karen Brown picked up male and female coach of the year respectively, Brown for the second consecutive year.
Meanwhile, Christian Blasch from Germany was recognised by the FIH Umpiring Committee for his performances and being a role model to his colleagues and younger officials coming through. The youngest official to take part in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games hockey competitions, Laurine Delforge, from Belgium, was chosen as the women’s umpire of the year on the back of her commitment, development and being an example to her female peers in terms of preparation and performance. She was also recognised as being a role model to the next generation of young officials coming into the game.
Narinder Dhruv Batra, president of the FIH said: “Sincere congratulations to all of the award winners today. I’m delighted that this stunning event has given them the global recognition that they deserve. Their performances and achievements in 2016 have inspired the next generation in their respective fields and they should all be very proud of their success.”
Jason McCracken, CEO of the FIH added: “What a fantastic celebration of what was a memorable year for our sport. The winners here today are role models to so many people, whether young players or goalkeepers to those thinking about moving into coaching or officiating. These annual awards are hugely important in respect of raising the profile of our stars and our sport and key to achieving the Hockey Revolution’s aim of making hockey a global game that inspires the next generation.”