Speech by Coen Teulings, Chairman of Merifin Capital, on the occasion of him receiving the (FIH) International Hockey Federation’s Etienne Glichitch Award in Beijing, China, on 19 August 2008.
Madam President, Dear Els,
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,
I feel honoured and privileged to receive the FIH Etienne Glichitch award. Etienne and I are the only ones to date who are associated with this award and it is by no means certain that any one else will ever get it beyond me. So I feel very proud !
But I would in particular like to commend Anne Ellis and the Development and Coaching Committee for their very important work and encourage them to continue their good efforts with ever increasing passion.
Because the heart of development and coaching is education, and education more than anything else is key to prosperity and peace in this world. Your work is not just about supporting hockey potential in emerging countries (however important it may be), but development and coaching in sport is an outstanding platform for education in general. It provides young people with an identity, a sense of purpose in life, team spirit and an appreciation of rules and fairness.
Sport is an ideal way of bringing people and nations together (as we are experiencing here at the superb Olympic Games in Beijing once more). Hockey Family is not just a life style but it is a reflection of society at large for which it bears its own responsibility. This seems recognised more and more given the new IOC Project in Zambia in which FIH participates.
I feel it is important to give your development and coaching activities a much wider scope as a contribution to proper education which is so necessary in order to achieve a better world for all, and it certainly has been my main motivation for reinforcing your efforts.