Study in Wales has been confirmed as the lead sponsor of Wales men as they prepare to compete in the 2023 FIH Hockey World Cup for the first time in their history.
The Hockey Wales and Study in Wales partnership is driven by the shared desire to inspire change and will see support for the Welsh teams beyond the World Cup. Both organisations fully support promoting Wales as a country that has a strong focus on equality, diversity, and inclusion.
Ria Burrage-Male, chief executive of Hockey Wales, said: “Hockey Wales has been on an incredible journey so far. In just six years, the Men have moved up from 36th to 16th in the world rankings, with limited resources. Qualifying for the World Cup for the first time ever is an incredible achievement, and a true testament to the efforts of everyone involved.”
Study in Wales is part of the Global Wales partnership and represents Wales’ universities and colleges. The Study in Wales brand forms a core part of Global Wales’ strategy to promote Wales to the world, by building partnerships and sharing study opportunities.
Professor Iwan Davies, Chair of Global Wales, said: “International students play an invaluable role in diversifying and internationalising Welsh university campuses and communities at a time when retaining an international outlook is more important than ever.
“This partnership is another welcome step for Study in Wales, sports diplomacy and the ongoing development of our relationship with India. It is a positive initiative for Welsh universities, enabling the sector to reach international audiences through hockey on the world stage.”
Burrage-Male added: “There’s a natural synergy between the two organisations; we have players and staff who are current students and alumni of Welsh universities, who are able to speak enthusiastically about their experiences of what it means to study in Wales.
Several members of both the men’s and women’s squad studied at Welsh universities, and men’s team captain Luke Hawker is employed as a senior lecturer in Sport Coaching at Cardiff Metropolitan University.
Hawker said: “Welsh universities are continuously developing the sport at both an elite and fun level, creating an inspiring and inclusive community of field hockey athletes across the country. State-of-the-art facilities and overwhelming support from faculty both hugely contribute towards Wales’ sporting success.
“We also know first-hand the lengths that our universities go to, to provide a foundation for future success in people’s personal and professional lives, as well as on the sporting field.”
For the World Cup, to bring education and sport together, the partnership will also include engagements with Hockey Wales, students and school staff in and around the tournament in India.