Philip Kimberley, England Hockey’s Non-Executive Chairman, received the EHF Diploma of Merit yesterday in a reception at the Unibet EuroHockey Championships at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Center. The reception was attended by EHF’s President, Marijke Fleuren, EHF Director General, Angus Kirkland and many of England Hockey’s partners and Executive Board members.
Philip first joined England Hockey as a part time Executive Chairman in 2003, following a long and successful career in business. His tasks were threefold: 1. to get England Hockey’s debts cleared, 2. To regain the confidence of the stakeholders (both domestic and international) and 3. To reorganise the management structure of England Hockey.
He approached these tasks with an intense focus, and personally took on a variety of roles to make the changes possible. He simultaneously acted as a Chairman, CEO and Marketing Director. With a new Executive team, he was pivotal in the rebuilding of hockey in England.
He recognised the huge opportunity the Olympics presented for securing a permanent home for hockey in England, as Lee Valley Tennis and Hockey Center indeed is today.
Success finally came and stayed in 2007, with England Hockey hosting the EuroHockey Championships in Manchester and 2 years later, winning the European Championships in Amsterdam by beating the German men. In 2012, the London Olympics brought the GB women a medal for the very first time in history.
The appointment of Sally Munday in 2009 as Chief Executive Officer meant that Philip took a step back, leading from the background, a difficult skill at which he excels.
He is now stepping down as chair, having ensured the future of England Hockey will continue to be bright, both on and off the pitch.
EHF President Marijke Fleuren spoke about all this at the official presentation and remarked: ‘A Diploma of Merit may be awarded to a person who has done a service to hockey, which had a beneficial effect for hockey at a European Level. Philip has certainly done a huge service for England Hockey, but also for all of Europe and our hockey family, bringing England Hockey back to the European stage.’
EHF would like to extend its warm thanks and congratulations to Philip for all his hard work over the years.
Photographs: Jane Brennan