Hockey India congratulates Narinder Batra who has been elected as the new FIH President




Dubai, 12 November 2016: In what can be marked as a golden milestone for Indian sport, Hockey India today congratulates Hockey India President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra who has been elected as the new President of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) at the 45th FIH Congress in Dubai today. Dr Batra, who was an Executive Board Member of FIH as well as the Vice-President of the Asian Hockey Federation, will replace outgoing FIH President Leandro Negre, for a four-year term at the helm.
Narinder Batra making a mark in hockey

Narinder Batra making a mark in hockey

Addressing the media soon after the news was revealed, an elated Dr Batra said, “I feel extremely honoured and I look forward to lead the FIH global hockey revolution.”

The win was basis a largely unanimous decision, Dr Batra secured 68 votes out of 118 to edge past tough opponents in Australia’s Ken Read and Ireland’s David Balbirnie, the two other candidates for the FIH Presidency at the Congress. This is the first time an Indian has been elected to head a global sports governing body of an Olympic sport. Dr Batra will also be the first Indian to take on the role as FIH Chief.
A visionary-par-excellence, Dr Batra, who has under his leadership managed to bring about an uprising in Indian hockey with significant changes in terms of player management, creating a transparent system for efficient governing, monitory benefits for players and revenue generation, insisted that his priority as FIH Chief will be to increase the number of hockey playing nations in the world.  “My priority will be to widen the base and extend geographical boundaries. To popularize the sport world-wide, we need to take the sport beyond a maximum of five-six top hockey playing nations in both men and women. This will be the key in creating mass appeal globally for hockey. And I believe once we achieve this, we can also increase the revenue. We must also engage with a younger audience via various digital platforms. It is something which will take smart and strategic planning, and I look forward to the challenge.”
He further added that among his ambitious projects as the new elected FIH Chief will be to take the game across the Atlantic, “While China, India and USA drive the world’s economy, we also need to accept that these are potential markets for sports too and it’s important to make the sport popular in these key markets.”
Dr Batra believes that hockey in the sporting calendar needs a big boost in order to truly bring about a revolution. “It is my firm belief that this innovation will lead to better commerce for hockey,” stated Dr Batra who was awarded the prestigious FIH Presidents Award in 2014 for his contribution in developing hockey at the grassroots.
An inspiring personality, Dr Batra has always prioritized player development. “If we want to create a hockey revolution, we first need to think about our players and give them nothing but the best. They are the custodians of our future,” he added.
Dr Batra‘s brainchild, the Coal India Hockey India League, which has completed four successful seasons since its inception in 2013, is the biggest hockey league in the world at present. The vision and hard work put in by Dr Narinder Batra has yielded results for the Indian hockey teams and the Indian men’s hockey team is now among the top six sides in the world. Having successfully hosted several international FIH events, Dr Batra‘s experience is expected to hold him in good stead as FIH President.
As to the challenges he looked to tackle right away as FIH President, Dr Batra said increasing global television and digital footprint is the way forward. “We need to ensure that we strike the right balance between using digital platforms for promotional purposes and rely on television for reach and revenue growth. “
The path is paved for Dr Narinder Batra to lead the hockey fraternity into a new era that will truly bring about a revolution in the game that we have known for so long. It is a proud moment for India, one that will be remembered for a long time to come.

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