Olympic medalists Dohmen, Naomi van As win FIH Player of the Year awards
Chandigarh [India], Feb. 23 (ANI): Olympic silver medalists-Belgiums' John-John Dohmen and retiring Netherlands star Naomi Van As on Thursday won the International Hockey Federation's (FIH) male and female Player of the Year (2016) awards in a star-studded Hockey Stars 2016 Awards ceremony in Chandigarh.
It was for the first time in history of hockey that an awards ceremony was held to honour the best players, goalkeepers, rising stars, coaches and umpires.
Great Britain's Olympic gold medalist Maddie Hinch won the female Goalkeeper of the Year while Ireland's David Harte won the male Goalkeeper of the Year for the for the second year in a row
Belgium men's Rio 2016 Olympic Games medal success was a big factor in the nation's athletes picking up two awards, with Dohmen's compatriot Arthur Van Doren being named male Rising Star of the Year (aged 23 years and under).
Maria Granatto from Argentina picked up female Rising Star of the Year after a hugely successful period which saw her team win the 2016 Hockey Champions Trophy, where she won Best Junior Player, as well as being crowned Hockey Junior World Cup champions in November.
The coaching team, who guided Great Britain's women to their first ever Olympic gold meda,l were also recognised as Danny Kerry and Karen Brown picked up male and female Coach of the Year respectively, Brown for the second consecutive year.
Christian Blasch from Germany was recognised by the FIH Umpiring Committee for his exceptional performances and being a role model to his colleagues and younger officials coming through.
Laurine Delforge, the youngest official to take part in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games hockey competitions, from Belgium, was chosen as the women's Umpire of the Year.
Speaking about the event, FIH President Narinder Batra said: "Sincere congratulations to all of the award winners today. I'm delighted that this stunning event has given them the global recognition that they deserve. Their performances and achievements in 2016 have inspired the next generation in their respective fields and they should all be very proud of their success."
FIH CEO Jason McCracken added: "What a fantastic celebration of what was a memorable year for our sport. The winners here today are role models to so many people, whether young players or goalkeepers to those thinking about moving into coaching or officiating. These annual awards are hugely important in respect of raising the profile of our stars and our sport and key to achieving the Hockey Revolution's aim of making hockey a global game that inspires the next generation." (ANI)