The FIH has announced the appointment of Alastair Cox as their new Facilities Manager.
Industry big hitter Alastair has 36 years’ experience of the testing and setting of standards for the performance and durability of synthetic sports surfaces. He joins the FIH in a newly created role which will play an important part in adding to the existing services and support provided to the FIH Continental Federations (CF’s) and National Associations (NA’s) as part of the FIH’s ‘Engage and Empower Programme’.
While new to the role, Alastair has worked alongside the FIH for a number of years and is the author of the FIH Pitch Handbook.
FIH launched their new strategy in November last year designed to unite the hockey community. FIH’s ambition is ‘a global game that inspires the next generation’ with its purpose ‘to raise the global status and popularity of hockey’. To achieve this ambition, FIH have set themselves four goals and subsequent initiatives have been defined to achieve these goals. Alastair’s appointment will contribute directly to the new strategy. His focus will be on creating and providing guidelines for facility development, offering advice to those looking to build new facilities, overseeing the pitch licensing scheme, reviewing the accreditation process for laboratories and looking at development opportunities across all areas of hockey equipment.
Alastair knows that good facilities (in particular pitches) recruit and retain players and fans. Through advising those looking to build new facilities, Alastair will provide added value to the FIH CF’s and NA’s by enabling them to maximise their investments. For example, there are four categories of pitch available on the market and Alastair will advise on the best pitch to suit specific needs and weather conditions. He will assist in planning for maintenance of the pitch and how this and the associated training costs need to be budgeted for, alongside lighting requirements for the pitch. Alastair will work closely with FIH partners Polytan STI and Musco lighting in these areas.
Another part of Alastair’s remit is working with the FIH events team to create higher standards and expectations with regard to pitches and facilities at FIH events. This will contribute towards athlete welfare, spectator experience and online viewing thereby continuing to build a recognised, powerful image for hockey.
Alastair joins from Labosport International where he was Deputy CEO and prior to this he was Managing Director of Labosport UK, as well as advising a number of International Federations on synthetic turf issues.
In 2011, he was awarded the inaugural lifetime achievement award by the European Synthetic Turf Organisation, and sits as a member of a number of global committees looking at sport surfaces and facilities.