Legacy and development key focus as FIH President Tayyab Ikram welcomed down under

Published Thu 28 Mar 2024

International Hockey Federation (FIH) President Tayyab Ikram has wrapped up a successful mission to Australia, as he continues his commitment to global hockey development.

Touching down in Perth on the eve of the launch of Hockey Australia’s Perth International Festival of Hockey, President Ikram began proceedings fresh off a flight from Europe, fronting national media as he acknowledged the importance of the announcement not just for Australia, but for global hockey.

“At the International Hockey Federation since I took over, engagement and empowerment was the priority and that’s what we see here today,” President Ikram told the media in front of a vast view over the shores of Scarborough. 

Congratulating the Western Australian Government on its commitment to developing a world-class $135 million High-Performance Centre of Excellence in Perth, President Ikram said it sets an example for the rest of the world. 

“This kind of infrastructure will have a long-term legacy, not just for Australia but for global hockey.”

The importance of legacy and infrastructure underpinned the President’s visit to Australia as he met with Government Ministers, dignitaries and sporting bodies during key stops in Perth, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Canberra and Melbourne.

An important item on the agenda was his visit to Brisbane, as a key member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

With 2024 marking 8 years until the Brisbane Olympics, infrastructure was a key talking point at the Brisbane Organising Committee meeting in Queensland’s major city as well as meeting with Premier Miles.

President Ikram’s visit came just weeks after Hockey Queensland, in partnership with Hockey Australia, released the Hockey Major Infrastructure Feasibility Study to coincide with the release of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic venue Master Plan. 

It highlighted the confronting reality that Brisbane has no hockey facilities that could host a national tournament let alone an international hockey event.

But in his commitment to development and legacy, President Ikram wrapped up his tour in Melbourne leaving behind a key message for hockey in Australia; his wish and commitment to bring more international matches, including the FIH Pro League, to Australia. 

“We would love to bring international events to Perth and other states and territories in Australia as it’s a pleasure to play hockey in a real hockey country.”

“It is not only my wish and the FIH’s wish but the wish of the global hockey family to come to Australia to play events and we would like to see that in the years to come.”

Hockey Australia CEO David Pryles said his support for Australia is a testament to the strong alignment between the international and national bodies.

“To have President Ikram here for two weeks is a massive honour for our sport. His commitment to developing a legacy through investment and infrastructure is vital for global hockey. We recognise his work and look forward to continuing a strong working relationship moving forward.”

Reiterating Pryle’s message, Hockey Australia President Ross Sudano acknowledged the importance of the relationship between the two bodies moving forward for the health of the game globally. 

“It was a productive visit, we would like to thank President Ikram for his showing here in Australia and we look forward to more conversations in future including how we can work together to benefit the sport on a global scale, especially as we build to Brisbane 2032.”