The recent Samsung Women’s Champions Trophy was not only a testament to the skill, speed and agility with which all the competing teams played it was also a mirror of their values.
By Pam Elgar
The Australian Hockeyroos gave back in a thrilling match which saw them play in an all pink strip as part of their commitment to the community of Breast Cancer sufferers. The crowd at Sydney got behind their team by wearing pink and purchasing badges, caps or ribbons to signify support and raise funds for Breast Cancer awareness.
As a result of that effort and several conversations the Chair of Hockey New Zealand Graham Child suggested that maybe the other teams would like to give back something as well. Gill Gemming, Continental Development Officer and I took the suggestion to heart and worked out a plan along with Mark Anderson (CEO Hockey Australia) and Tina Brullo (Events Manager Hockey Australia) and the Champions Give Back scheme was born.
We arranged through Tina Brullo and Janet Ellis (FIH Tournament Director) to communicate with all the teams and see if they were prepared to contribute. The response was overwhelming. At the end of the tournament Tina gathered together all the offerings and arranged to have them shipped back to Gill Gemming. She was greeting by a courier delivering boxes and boxes of clothes, sticks, and shin guards. Gill said it was like Christmas Day and opening presents. When she worked her way through all the boxes it was clear that every team – Argentina, Australia, China, England, Germany and Netherlands had contributed as well as spare gear provided for the Ball girls and boys and other volunteers.
So, what are we going to do with it? Well Gill has a plan – Samoa who will be competing for the first time in Oceania Cup (August 2022) will be provided with gear and equipment which will help them and other gear will be taken by Gill on her next round of trips to the Island nations at distributed.
Let’s hope this idea takes seed and becomes a feature of future Champions Trophy events. Oceania continental federation is certainly grateful to all the teams competing and particularly for Australia who did an excellent job hosting a fantastic tournament but also going the extra step and helping with collecting and delivering these items.
Actions speak louder than words – thank you to all who gave – you truly are Champions.
Pam Elgar is FIH Executive Board Member, President Oceania Hockey Federation and was FIH Representative at the Samsung Champions Trophy 2022