Dear Hockey friends,
On November 29th at the 41st Statuary Congress, I was elected President of the International Hockey Federation. I would like to take some words to thank the Congress for its support. I am aware of the narrow result of the election and the emotions that followed, but I am confident that the sport of Hockey will stand together because I know that despite of personalities, we all share a common project based on the same beliefs which are the ones inspiring the FIH’s mission.
I am privileged and delighted to be given the opportunity to lead the Hockey world in the next phase of growth and development. We have to recognize some Associations are very fragile and need to be nurtured to ensure we do not lose Hockey in these countries. The larger and stronger Associations are looking for leadership in relation to a structured calendar for hockey, and innovation in our properties to ensure Hockey continues to be attractive to future generations.
I would like to spend some words to honor Els van Breda Vreisman. She has served the office of President of the International Hockey Federation -the highest in our sport, with dedication and commitment. The sport of Hockey owes her a great deal, and that is why I asked the Congress to proclaim Els van Breda Vreisman, Honorary President of our Federation. She established a high profiled and committed team of professionals at the FIH. I look forward to working with them for the good of Hockey and at the same time grow our position as a leading Olympic sport.
I would like to thank as well every one who has helped me with support, work or advise during this long campaign. Without a well coordinated team effort this would have not been possible.
Now it is time to go back to work for Hockey, but let me on this time of the year whish every one of you a merry Christmas and a happy 2009.