There will be no weekly report next week as I will be in Switzerland for the FIH Forum and Congress.
Oh My Gosh (i.e. OMG), did we ever get email! Last week’s weekly report was solely devoted to announcing the new 2011 USA National Club Championships for U19 and U17. The emails were quite supportive and underlined the general feeling around the country that clubs are going to be the platform for the major growth of hockey in the USA. Many writers saw the national club championships to be a great catalyst opportunity for growth in their own regions. It goes without saying that we agree.
Some of the emails posed questions revolving around qualifying for the club championships as we go into 2012. The first edition of the national club championships will be on a first come/first served basis. But, what about 2012 and our anticipated system using qualifiers? That is where you come in. Laura Darling, Managing Director of Olympic Development will be contacting clubs with a survey asking for your input into the qualifying system. Our goal is to create a vibrant and fair system of qualifying for these National events that will highlight the top level of club play throughout the nation.
Our entire office staff has been energized with the prospect of this new set of events. The venue owners, Dr. Steve Burton, et al, at SportsQuest in Richmond, Virginia are putting a tremendous effort in the build-up to next year’s inaugural events (their new facility is just a place without peer..it is drop-dead gorgeous).This is going to be huge fun. The development of new events always comes with their own set of issues, but in the bigger scheme of things the events always work out and the sport is enhanced.
Within the Olympic family, there are 47 sport national governing bodies (NGBs). Some are Olympic sports and several are exclusively Pan American Games only sports (water skiing and softball are a couple of examples of Pan Am only sports). Each month all of the executive directors gather with the United States Olympic Committee CEO to share common experiences and learn of what others are doing. US Figure Skating is a prominent sport on the winter Olympic programme, and David Raith, the executive director, is about to launch an interesting program they have been working on for the past two years. And, before you say “Why isn’t hockey doing this?” bear in mind that this program has consumed a one million dollar investment by US Figure Skating.
On February 17, 2011, US Figure Skating will present a cinematic feature, Rise, as a part of a special in-theatre event (over 500 theatres) commemorating the 50th anniversary of the February 15, 1961 plane crash that took the lives of all of the members of the United States World Figure Skating team. For figure skating, it was a defining moment. While it might sound a little morbid and depressing, it actually demonstrates the resilience of figure skating, and is a mirror of what all Olympic sports typify. David has asked that all of the Olympic sport national governing bodies share this celebration with members. The following link will take you to the Rise site and provide you with information of the project and a trailer of the film. It is quite inspiring. The link is: http://www.rise1961.com/
Jimmy Kimmel Live!: ‘After the Giants won the World Series, they had a riot in San Francisco, overturning Priuses and lighting clean-burning bonfires.’
Have a great week!
USA Field Hockey