FIH and Sport Group announce partnership extension with renewed commitment to sustainability


October 18, 2021

Lausanne, Switzerland: The International Hockey Federation(FIH) and Polytan, a member of Sport Group, today announced an extension to their long-standing worldwide hockey partnership through to 2024.

In response to the partnership’s recent success delivering climate positive turfs for Tokyo 2020 (made from 60% sugar cane),the extension is designed to ensure hockey becomes a leader in the development of sustainable sports facilities.

In line with FIH’s Sustainability Framework for Hockey and theUN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the partnership will focus on the following:

Fundamental for healthy communities, sport needs to be accessible to all. Polytan will support FIH’s drive to make a positive impact on all those involved in hockey by continuing to promote high quality, durable hockey facilities that maximise precious space by withstanding thousands of players on a weekly basis.

Alongside the growth of traditional facilities, the partnership will tackle the development of Hockey5s. Hockey5s courts that require less space and appeal to changing recreational habits will allow many more people to enjoy hockey. Additionally, Polytan’s portable turf technology will bring the first-ever FIH Hockey5s World Cup to downtown Oman in 2024, giving local children and adults the opportunity to be thrilled by world-class competition.

Protecting the planet so it can support the needs of present and future generations should be a fundamental commitment for all organisations. Polytan is dedicated to working with FIH to ensure hockey activities leave as small a footprint on the planet as possible.

The Poligras turfs developed for Tokyo 2020 were created using bio-based materials (60% sugar cane), and were manufactured to strict ISO 14001 environmental management and ISO 9001 management standards. Also, the overall system used at the Tokyo Olympic venue required a third less water than the Rio 2016 venue. The partnership will focus on innovations that deliver CO2 reduction, bio-based green technology, dry elite level turf and end-of-life recycling as well as turf longevity through good maintenance practices.

FIH’s final sustainability goal is about ensuring hockey continues to grow and prosper. With 46 years working with hockey, the Polytan team is fully behind this goal. As the sole supplier of hockey turf for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and the FIH Hockey World Cups (2022/2023), Polytan will deliver the finest turfs, ensuring that players perform to their best and that hockey looks bright and vibrant.

Additionally, Polytan and FIH have successfully created a new category for hockey turf – Temporary Overlay Pitches (TOP) – which provides a cost-effective means of hosting top-level hockey in existing sports stadia and other venues. These Big Stadium hockey events have been successfully delivered for both the FIH Hockey Pro League and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualifiers allowing hockey to break free from the limitations of existing venues to attract record crowds. As hockey fans return to big events, the TOP systems will bring the sport to new locations and audiences, creating thrilling experiences for the players and further growing the game.

Thierry Weil, CEO, FIH:
We are delighted that our trusted partner Polytan, which continues to innovate and invest in hockey, has extended its partnership with FIH. Over the years Polytan has repeatedly delivered world-class facilities for the Olympics and Hockey World Cups. They are leaders in sustainable sports surfaces and construction, so we are very happy to have their support in hockey’s sustainable future, in particular for producing water-free elite pitches in the years to come.

Frank Dittrich, CEO, Sport Group:
“Sustainability is key in the development of all our products. Sport Group, with our investment in green technology, is transforming the future of sports surfaces. Our long-term partnership with the FIH allows us to invest in hockey turf innovations that will help the game be a leader in sustainable sport.”

Stephen Niven, CEO Polytan Asia Pacific:
“Our relationship with hockey began in 1976 with the first turf at the Montreal Olympics. Since then, Sport Group, through Polytan and AstroTurf, has remained committed to the global game. It is a pleasure to be part of the sport; hockey is exciting, welcoming and is equally amazing for men and women, girls and boys. Shifting our partnership focus to sustainability will further progress the sport and our Poligras hockey turfs will continue to be the leader in player and environmental performance.”

Sustainable Development Goals

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