Original article published by FIH - http://fih.ch/news/dual-roles-for-nonnie/

Nonhlanhla Mtolo, who is also known as Nonnie in South African hockey circles, started volunteering in 2016 and in that time has become an expert in both team management skills and the demands of being a tournament Technical Official.

The South African started her volunteering career in 2016 when she was a judge for the Varsity Hockey tournament at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, universally known as ‘Wits’.

This bi-annual hockey event, which features the top eight university hockey sides in the country, is a true showcase of university hockey in South Africa. A huge number of varsity hockey alumni going on to represent South Africa on the international stage. The event provided a big platform on which Nonhlanhla started her volunteering journey.

Following the Wits event, Nonhlanhla took up a role as the U14 D Southern Gauteng Schools Team Manager, organising and caring for the young players in the provincial hockey calendar of events. She undertook this responsibility for two seasons – 2016 and 2017 – before taking her considerable organisational skills into team manager roles with the U16s, the U18s and the Southern Gauteng Women’s Indoor Team.

While continuing with her volunteering roles on the domestic hockey scene, Nonhlanhla has also made the step into international volunteering. She was Ball Patrol Manager at the FIH World Hockey League finals in Johannesburg in 2017 – a crucial job that involves managing the team of youngsters who ensure the game runs smoothly and without delay.

She has continued to manage ball patrol teams at the Premier Hockey League in South Africa every year since.

Nonhlanhla’s big break came in 2018 when she was appointed Technical Official for the U21 Inter Provincial Tournament. It was a role she repeated for the African Youth Games in Algeria. In 2019, she was Technical Official for the South Africa v Namibia series and in 2020, for the South Africa v Germany series.

Talking about her dual volunteering career as a Team Manager and Technical Official, Nonhlanhla says: “I am passionate about both aspects of the game and feel really privileged to be able to do both. I've been lucky enough to learn from one of the greats, Josie Milella. The experience and passion she has for the game is immeasurable and she definitely someone I look up to and feel honoured to work with."

Original article published http://fih.ch/news/josie-learns-from-the-best/ 

Josie Milella began her volunteering journey in 2003 when she was the team liaison person for the Belgium Men National team at the FIH Champions Challenge. The event was held in Randburg Hockey Stadium in Johannesburg and it was at this point that South African Josie knew that volunteering for hockey events was something about which she was really motivated and enthused.

Josie was in good hands from the start. The tournament director at the Randburg event was Sheila Brown, one of the most experienced and respected hockey administrators in the game, having been Tournament Director at both Olympic and World Cup events. Under Sheila's careful guidance, Josie quickly found her place in the world of hockey volunteering. 

Every year from 2003 onwards, Josie would volunteer for events, learning how various aspects of a tournament worked by throwing herself into each role with energy and a willingness to learn.

It was 14 years later at the 2017 Hockey World League that Josie experienced her steepest learning curve. In the highly pressurised environment of an Olympic qualifying event, Josie was working with FIH Events Manager Eduardo Leonardo and, as she says: “That was a fun event, but boy, I really learned a lot.”

The most recent large scale event that Josie has been involved in was the 2019 Africa Hockey Road to Tokyo in Stellenbosch. Again, this was an Olympic qualifier with all the attendant pressures and stresses but Josie took it all in her stride, with calm competence. Josie’s approach to every event is to see it as a learning opportunity. 

She says that she owes a debt of gratitude to everyone who has helped her along her own hockey journey from complete novice to experienced and highly respected volunteer. “I believe it is an incredible honour to serve the game,” says Josie, with typical humility.

 

Mickey Gordon is a name that has been associated with sport his whole life, none more than hockey. He has devoted his life to developing the sport of hockey with an involvement that incorporates many aspects including playing, coaching, umpiring, administration and more. 

Mickey’s role at SA Hockey has seen him obtain umpiring colours, serve as the SA U21 B Coach as well as being a selector at age group levels of U16, U18 and U21 alongside being an USSA Selector. His biggest and most prized role though, was undoubtedly the 12 years that he has been Convenor of Selectors for the National Women’s side working alongside the likes of Jenny King, Giles Bonnet and Sheldon Rostron to name a few. 

Gordon’s love for the game is second to none and in conversation with him you will immediately feel his passion for hockey. Long after he had stepped away from his role on the SA Hockey Board, Mickey continued to attract top teams to SA in the summer months offering them a training base during his tenure at North West University and the University of the Free State alike. On the back of Mickey moving off from the role of National Convenor of Selectors, SA Hockey CEO Marissa Langeni paid tribute to his wonderful service.

“Mickey Gordon is a wonderful ambassador and servant of the game of hockey in South Africa. He has recently settled into a new key role as part of the local organising committee of the 2021 Womens Junior World Cup.  On behalf of the South African Hockey Association I want to thank Mickey Gordon for his service to the game over the last few decades.”

Doreen Martin today celebrates her 100th Birthday. The South African Hockey Community celebrate alongside the former SA Women’s Hockey President.

Doreen’s involvement in hockey throughout her life tells a wonderful story of a committed and passionate individual.

After starting her hockey career at Progressive while at high school, it was California where Doreen showed the off-field abilities moving from secretary to treasurer and eventually chairperson. She was also an umpire excelling at various national tournaments.

From 1967 onwards Doreen served in various roles for the Western Province Hockey Union including secretary, treasurer and eventually president of the Union in 1976. She served in this position until her retirement in 1988. She also served as the president of the SA Women’s Hockey Board from 1977 for just over a decade before being made Honorary Life President at the time of her retirement. Incredibly she held both positions at the same time requiring remarkable effort levels.

In 2008 at the SA Women’s Hockey Association function in Port Elizabeth she was presented with the SA Hockey Badge for her service to the game. Mrs Martin represents a generation that impacted and contributed to building a better society.

SA Hockey CEO Marissa Langeni shares:

“Today the South African Hockey family celebrates a wonderful milestone birthday with Doreen Martin. She has always been a superb servant of the game serving for a remarkable period and impressively so. We hope you have a wonderful day with your loved ones!”

All the SA Hockey Community thank Doreen for her service to the game and wish her all the best for this milestone birthday!

By Gordon Pentecost and Warren Boden

It is with great sadness that the hockey fraternity learnt on Tuesday morning of the passing of Tony Godding.

Tony, affectionally known to all as Godders, loved hockey and made a huge contribution in so many spheres of the game.

He represented Border at provincial level and once he retired, he then immersed himself in all facets of the game.

He served as convenor of the National Men’s Selection Panel, National Men’s Under 21 Selection Panel and South African Schools Selection Panel. He was appointed Coach of the National Men’s Team and the National Under 21 Men’s team.

He also served on the South African Hockey Association Executive.

In his later years he devoted his time to school’s hockey in various capacities for Border Schools and then in particular for Selborne College. His coaching, knowledge and ability to understand and motivate young hockey players, had a massive impact on legions of Selborne Boys College players. His contribution to Selborne helped the school establish its reputation as one of the leading hockey playing schools in South Africa and the annual Selborne Hockey Festival was named “The Tony Godding Hockey Festival” in his honour- an accolade he so richly deserved.

He was an amazingly knowledgeable hockey man, who showed insight, wisdom and empathy with all the men who played in the teams he coached. Godders was a hockey encyclopaedia, who could remember hockey scores of most hockey world cup finals at the drop of a hat.

So, dedicated and committed was he that on the eve of a test match he had to settle his nerves with a Radox bath and several liquid tranquilizers. His pre-match talks were legendary as in those days there were no PowerPoint facilities or smart boards and  they usually consisted of bottle tops being moved around the table with a trembling hand, but the message and tactics always hit the mark.

We had the privilege of serving on selection panels with Tony and being such a highly principled man, he made sure that every single player was considered thoroughly, before the final selection was made. His integrity was never questioned amongst coaches and players.

His contribution to Border hockey was immense, where his energy, administration, coaching and mentoring skills for more than 60 years was legendary and beyond equal.

I valued his wisdom and his friendship immensely and, on many occasions, when faced with a hockey related problem, I had no hesitation in phoning Tony, where he would listen carefully to the problem and then give me such wise council.

Tony was a legend in South African Hockey and the tributes which have poured in from hockey players throughout the country and abroad, bears testimony to the respect and love that they had for him.

He will be sorely missed but his memory will last forever.  

The Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture has given SA Hockey the go ahead to resume training and matches for hockey at large. 

“The previous approvals given related to the return to training for National and Provincial High-Performance squads at Alert Level 3, this new approval received allows for the broader hockey community to return to play, whilst observing specified protocols. The return has been long awaited and we would like to thank the Minister for the approval,” said SA Hockey CEO Marissa Langeni.

The letter received grants permission for the resumption of hockey activities and competition as outlined in SA Hockey’s Operational Guidelines and outlines that SA Hockey need to ensure that:

  • It adheres to the plans it has submitted and committed to.
  • All SA Hockey Affiliates need to be compliant and provide operational plans for the resumption of hockey 
  • It adheres to the Disaster Management Act 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002): Determination of Alert Level as gazetted on 17 August 2020
  • It adheres to the Amendments of Directions Issued in Terms of Regulation 4 (10) of the Regulations Made Under Section 27 (2) of The Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No 57 of 2002): Measures to Prevent and Combat the Spread of Covid-19: Sport, Arts and Culture as gazetted on 28 August 2020. 

Provinces and Affiliate Members will be given the opportunity to apply for Certificates of Operation for all clubs and venues as part of SA Hockey’s Covid-19 compliance processes. Alert Level 1 directions for sport have not as yet been made available. SA Hockey will make further adjustments, if needed, to the submission already made, if the Level 1 Directions determine a need for it. 

“Our members are encouraged to remain extremely vigilant as South Africa is still in a state of National Disaster, all efforts must be put in place to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 to the best of our ability and to avoid a second wave.”

The Level 2 Sport Directions as issued on 28 August 2020 on Gazette 43667 remain in effect. SA Hockey made a submission in compliance with the Level 2 directions for approval for the return to train and play for the greater hockey community. This submission was made on 03 September and is yet to be approved by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture.

We further note that South Africa has since moved to Level 1 as at midnight on Sunday 20th September. This move to Level 1 is regulated by Gazette 43725 as issued by the Minister of Co-operative Governance on 18 September. Gazette 43725 directs the further easing of regulations for various activities including sport for both professional and non- professional matches. This easing of regulations, however must follow the directions of the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture. Level 1 directions for sport have not as yet been made available. SA Hockey will make further adjustments, if needed to the submission already made, if the Level 1 Directions determine a need for it.

The National State of Disaster has been extended till 15 October 2020. Whilst the National State of Disaster remains in effect, South African Hockey as a National Federation need to continue to observe and comply with all regulations as issued by the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture.  

We are acutely aware that the delayed return to play for hockey has created a lot of uncertainty and anxiety, as members are desperate to get back to playing the sport they love. We are hoping that the wait will not be much longer given the positive weekly feedback received from the department to date. We request that members continue to observe and comply with regulations as & when they are issued by national government, the relevant Ministers and SA Hockey. School Sport remains under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Basic Education and the relevant directives issued by that department.

Lausanne, Switzerland, Cheseaux-sur Lausanne, Switzerland, and Phoenix (AZ), USA – September 16, 2020 – The International Hockey Federation (FIH), the world’s governing body for the sport of hockey, and NAGRA, a Kudelski Group (SIX:KUD.S) company and the world's leading independent provider of content protection and multiscreen video solutions, announced today the launch of “Watch.Hockey”, a ground-breaking fan engagement app that creates a new digital “home of hockey” to the millions of hockey fans, players and officials worldwide. 

“Watch.Hockey” will be available starting September 17, 2020, free of charge, on the App Store and on Google Play.

The timing of the Watch.Hockey launch coincides with the gradual resumption of international hockey, with the FIH Hockey Pro League re-starting on September 22, 2020 (Germany-Belgium). Through the app, FIH expands support for its global fan base by providing access to live matches on web, mobile and smart TVs. Other features of the app include live scores, results, statistics, personalized content in a “For You” section, and trending content, as well as access to replays, highlights, archived content, and news.

“Our fans and community are at the center of everything that we do, and now we can bring the sport that unites all of us to them in an innovative way to enable a new level of engagement. Launching Watch.Hockey in the current context makes it particularly meaningful. I encourage the global hockey community to download the app now and start enjoying its rich, diverse and exciting content. I want to thank our partner NAGRA, whose teams have been by our side all these months to make this project a reality,” said FIH CEO Thierry Weil. 

“The application is very good. It enables you to see all the information about hockey from all over the world and, at the same time, watch international hockey when you want and from where you want. It is a way to be closer and more updated about what is going on in the hockey world, and it’s available to everyone, fans, players, coaches, etc.” said Argentina’s player Carla Rebecchi.

“This is a great initiative by FIH which really brings hockey to your fingertips. It is an easy way to find live match action, replay old matches and watch and re-watch highlights. It is also very informative, you can quickly find match schedules, results and hockey news from all parts of the world,” said PR Sreejesh, India’s goalkeeper.

"We applaud the FIH for reaching this milestone and giving a new dimension to the sport of hockey in a time of so much change, when engaging with fans, players and the hockey community at large is more important than ever before,” said Jean-Luc Jezouin, SVP Sales Development for NAGRA. “We are grateful to be a part of the return of hockey to the pitch, bring the best hockey content to millions of fans worldwide, and deliver a digital platform to help hockey grow and prosper.”

The “Watch.Hockey” app is powered by NAGRA’s “sports-as-a-service” platform, which allows the FIH to harness the power of the sport’s passion and unite the leagues, clubs, and players for greater fan engagement to create an all-embracing sports experience in line with FIH‘s vision.

Download the Watch.Hockey app as of September 17 on. 

To jump in on everything that happened in 2020, and hockey fans all over the world being hungry for getting their knowledge elsewhere, SportWays is organising the very first African Hockey Summit. A free event featuring the best of both African and other continent’s coaches and players to showcase the best in African hockey and beyond. Through both education and inspiration, they leverage access to education.

 Working together with Hockey Dreams Foundation, African Hockey Federation, Scorrd and Self-Pass, the African Hockey Summit is taking place from September 3 – 5. During the 3-day virtual summit, registered participants will be able to watch unique video content from top hockey players and coaches from all over the world. Expect both interviews and inspiring lectures from over 30 speakers who are world class players and coaches including Max Caldas, Shane McLeod, Marsha Cox, Ric Charlesworth, Alyson Annan, Gregg Clark, Paul Revington, Ongeziwe Mali, Austin Smith, Cedric D’Souza, Thomas Briels, Dr Sherylle Calder, the Cassiem brothers and many more. 

 “We are super proud to be making African hockey history together with this virtual summit. Hockey people are truly amazing with Olympic coaches and players willing to contribute their time and expert knowledge to develop African hockey. All players and coaches from Africa and across the world are invited to join us to learn - it’s free!” Jack Thonissen, SportWays Africa.

 “Within our Hockey Dreams programmes, we see that our hockey coaches can actually make a difference through the power of sports. Keep things small, make a big impact. Education is key in that matter. This Summit is the gateway to offer that to African hockey and beyond.” Malou Janssen, Hockey Dreams Foundation

“It is with great pleasure to announce that the AfHF is endorsing and Co-hosting the 1st African Hockey Summit 2020. As the AfHF continuously works on developing and engaging African Officials and Umpires, we equally endorse and support all initiatives -alongside National Associations and Clubs- to develop and grow African coaches and players. This 1st edition of the African Hockey Summit features a well-rounded mix of talents from Africa and abroad and will surely capitalize on the concept of ‘coaching without borders’. I am looking forward to a rich and exciting 3-day online event where coaches and players can share their knowledge, experiences and best practices.” Seif Ahmed, President of African Hockey Federation (AfHF)

 Scorrd is the #1 online hockey community in the world and it’s free to join. We are super excited to be part of the first ever virtual African hockey summit. We will host a live chat and discussion segment on Scorrd, so all participants can share their thoughts about the different speakers.“ Sébastien Commeyne, Scorrd

“Self-Pass changed the game on social media with over 100,000 
passionate fans in every corner of the world. We are proud to be part of Africa’s hockey journey with this summit taking hockey to new and higher places!” Bernardo Fernandes, Founder of Self-Pass

 Book your FREE tickets at: www.sportwaysonlinehockeyclub.com/africanhockeysummit

 @sportways_sa

@sportwayseducation

@hockeydreamsfoundation

@africanhockeyfederation

@scorrd

@self_pass

South Africa will as of midnight 17 August 2020 move to Alert Level 2 of the Risk Adjusted Strategy.

With this move to Level 2 the country continues to gradually ease restrictions as announced by the President on Saturday 15th August 2020.  The current situation regarding COVID-19 is that the number of active cases is declining, the proportion of positive test results is declining and the number of admissions to healthcare facilities is declining. Whilst the situation is improving and a light at the end of the tunnel is on the horizon it is important to note that COVID-19 and the very real threat of a second wave remains a reality.

The National State of Disaster has been extended till 15 September 2020. Whilst the National State of Disaster remains in effect, South African Hockey as a National Federation need to continue to observe and comply with all regulations as issued by the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture. As such Government Gazette 43584 issued on 06 August 2020 remains in effect until such time that a new directive is given by the Minister. SA Hockey will be making a Return to Competition submission as per this gazette, and will at a later date, once approved issue the Return to Competition Guidelines.

We note that this time remains uncertain for many aspects of our sport and request that members continue to observe and comply with regulations as and when they are issued by national government and the relevant Ministers. School Sport remains under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Basic Education and the relevant directives issued by that department.

We are awaiting the issuance of the latest government gazettes by the various Ministers, in the wake of the President’s address and will in turn advise members accordingly.