Bengaluru, October 6: The Indian hockey team chief coaches -- Graham Reid and Janneke Schopman -- credited the team after receiving the Coach of the Year Award at the FIH Hockey Star Awards 2021-2022 for guiding their respective teams to perform well over the past year.
Currently in the Sports Authority of India's Southern Centre in Bengaluru, preparing the core probable group for the forthcoming FIH Hockey Pro League, men's coach Reid was surprised by the news of him winning the award by his wards.
"I was just going for a walk and the boys just surprised me at the gym, I was absolutely unaware, even my wife was in on it, she was a part of the surprise," Reid told Hockey India.
Reid further expressed that he was pleased with how the team has done thus far. "I think these awards are representative of how the team plays and not the individual and I think that's the environment I try to foster in the group. It's fantastic to receive the award but I think it's the whole team that has achieved it," he said.
Reid was up against Jeroen Delmee (Netherlands), Michel van den Heuvel (Belgium), Garreth Ewing (South Africa), Frederic Soyez (France) in contention for the award.
"The coaches of other teams are all world class; they have their own way of doing things and to win amongst those coaches is a big honour. I know how difficult it is and this kind of leadership at the top is very lively, you try and make pretty tough decisions each day, so I know the sacrifices they all make and I must say, congratulations to everyone who was nominated."
Meanwhile, women's team coach Schopman who is currently in Rajkot, Gujarat, to watch the National Games was also surprised.
"It's an honour to receive this award and I want to thank Hockey India, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Odisha Government, SAI and my family and staff for all their support. But the most thanks go out to the team as it's all them. The players work hard, want to learn and always show their dedication. It's a great pleasure to be their coach," said Schopman.
Schopman was up against Jamilon Mulders (Netherlands), Katrina Powell (Australia) Raoul Ehren (Belgium) and Adrian Lock (Spain).
"It really does feel pretty amazing to win the award when you are up against some of the finest coaches in the world. Again, the award is a recognition of what the players were able to execute on the field and I'm happy the team is progressing well," Schopman added.