A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by both organisations following extensive discussions and planning over the last few months.
This formalisation will see the development and implementation of strategies and programmes aimed at growing the discipline of Para-Hockey for persons with intellectual disability as part of the FIH’s continued drive to increase access to hockey at all levels and abilities, as part of the 10-year Hockey Revolution strategy.
Whilst plans to develop this discipline form the foundations of this agreement, FIH have committed to a number of measures relating to governance, regulation and administration. This will include the establishment of classification criteria as well as measures designed to manage anti-doping and corruption.
One of the immediate tasks will be the undertaking of a global audit to monitor participation figures in relation to this discipline. A concerted effort will also be made to promote Para-Hockey amongst FIH’s 137 National Associations and World Intellectual Impairment Sport’ 81 Member Organisations.
Once this discipline becomes further established internationally, it is the intention to integrate Para-Hockey events into the international hockey calendar, with a view to introducing Continental events and World Cups, another important step towards possible Paralympic Games inclusion in the future.
Speaking of this agreement, FIH President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra said: “This is an exciting time for our sport and in particular Para-Hockey. The signing of this MoU with World Intellectual Impairment Sport outlines our commitment to the development and promotion of this discipline and provides yet another example of hockey’s inclusivity, a key component of our 10-year Hockey Revolution strategy.” He continued: “We look forward to working with World Intellectual Impairment Sport to create a solid structure aimed at increasing access to Para-Hockey over the coming years.”
Amaury Russo, World Intellectual Impairment Sport President added: “We are delighted to be working with FIH in the coming years. Signing this MoU is a significant step for both organisations and the sport of Para-Hockey. We know that there are thousands of people already engaged with this discipline and now, together with FIH, we can really push on with developing opportunities globally through a professionally structured, long-term strategy.”
Over the coming months further details about the development of Para-Hockey will be revealed through through FIH.ch and via FIH Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #ParaHockey.