As a likely outcome of India men’s team winning a bronze at the Tokyo Olympics as well as the outstanding performance of the Indian women’s team at the showpiece event, India’s athletes and coaches dominated the FIH Hockey Stars Awards 2020-21.
Lausanne [Switzerland], October 6 : Athletes Gurjit Kaur (Best Player, Women), Harmanpreet Singh (Best Player, Men), Savita (Best Goalkeeper, Women), PR Sreejesh (Best Goalkeeper, Men), Sharmila Devi (Best Rising Star, Women) and Vivek Prasad (Best Rising Star, Men) as well as the coaches of India’s women’s team, Sjoerd Marijne (NED) and India’s men’s team, Graham Reid (AUS) grabbed the highest number of votes in their respective categories. 79 National Associations — represented by their respective national captains and coaches — have voted (Africa: 11 out of 25 Member Associations; Asia: 29 out of 33; Europe: 19 out of 42; Oceania: 3 out of 8; Pan America: 17 out of 30). And with a record number of almost 300,000 fans casting their votes, fan participation in the FIH Hockey Stars Awards has been exceptional.
Tellingly, all winning athletes have topped the standings in each of the three voting groups (National Associations / Fans and Players / Media).
Belgium (Men) and the Netherlands (Women), who were not only crowned Olympic Champions but also won the 2020-21 FIH Hockey Pro League, as well as the GBR/ENG Women’s team, were also given high recognition by the voting groups.
Belgium’s Alexander Hendrickx and Arthur van Doren were voted second and third best Players respectively, with Vincent Vanasch named second best Goalkeeper and Shane McLeod (NZL) second-best Coach.
For the Netherlands, Eva de Goede and Frederique Matla clinched the respective second and third places in the FIH Player of the Year Award while Alyson Annan (AUS) finished on the second spot of the FIH Coach of the Year Award.
For Great Britain/England, Goalkeeper Maddie Hinch, Rising Star Fiona Crackles and Coach Mark Hager (AUS) all reached the third spot of their respective categories.
Every continent is represented in the top three of at least one Award, with Belen Succi (ARG) named second best Goalkeeper and Valentina Raposo (ARG) as well as Mustaphaa Cassiem (RSA) clinching the second place of the FIH Rising Star of the Year Award, while Goalkeeper Andrew Charter (AUS), Rising Star Sean Findlay (NZL) and Coach Colin Batch (AUS) all finished on the third spot of their respective categories.
With no FIH Hockey Stars Awards in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 global health pandemic on the international calendar, this year’s awards covered the period from January 2020 through to the conclusion of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The voting process started on August 23 and concluded on September 15, 2021. Votes from National Associations — represented by their respective national captains and coaches — counted for 50% of the overall result, while fans and players (25%), as well as media (25%), made the other half of the votes.
FIH Women’s Player of the Year: Gurjit Kaur (IND)
FIH Women’s Goalkeeper of the Year: Savita (IND)
FIH Women’s Coach of the Year: Sjoerd Marijne (NED – Team IND)
FIH Men’s Player of the Year: Harmanpreet Singh (IND)
FIH Men’s Goalkeeper of the Year: PR Sreejesh (IND)
FIH Men’s Rising Star of the Year: Vivek Prasad (IND)
FIH Men’s Coach of the Year: Graham Reid (AUS – Team IND).