By Emily Goddard

ehf hall of fameMay 23 - Olympic champions Natascha Keller and Teun de Nooijer are among the first athletes to have been inducted in to the newly created European Hockey Federation (EHF) Hall of Fame.

As well as Germany's Keller, who won gold at Athens 2004, and Dutchman De Nooijer, who took gold at both Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000, Spain's Santi Freixa – an International Hockey Federation (FIH) Young Player of the Year award winner and silver medallist at Beijing 2008 – was also named as an inaugural inductee to the Hall of Fame.

"Since its foundation in 1969, the European Hockey Federation (EHF) has always valued its players with Best Player, Most Valuable Player and Best Goalkeeper awards at all of our Tournaments," read a statement from the continental governing body.

"However in recent years, as the players, coaches and umpires have performed better, given more, developed themselves through their actions on and off the field of play, we feel that it is now time to honour those very special people that are involved on the field in hockey.

Natascha Keller 280513Natascha Keller won a gold medal as a member of the German team at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games

"The EHF Hall of Fame is our way of honouring and highlighting some of the most significant figures in European hockey.

"The inaugural inductees into the EHF Hall of Fame are all international senior players, have all consistently displayed high levels of sportsmanship, and have had a deep and meaningful impact in hockey on and off the pitch."

The EHF Hall of Fame will be officially launched during the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships in Boom, Belgium on August 23 and 24.

The EHF Hall of Fame will be a virtual one, held on its website.

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