What is the Exchange Programme?

The biggest obstacle to all Oceania developing hockey nations is the availabilty of equipment. Hockey equipment is expensive but actually obtaining it is an issue as often there are no sports shops that stock hockey gear. The supply of uniform is also something that developed members can easily access but not so for the new clubs and villages.

Oceania Hockey Federation (OHF)  has began an Equipment Exchange Programme to help to overcome some of these difficulties. Hockey Federations, such as Australia and New Zealand have been very supportive in providing resources, such as coaching and umpiring packs and uniform that was not needed.

OHF is now looking to publicise the problems over a wider area in an attempt to get "used equipment" out of garages, out of club cupboards, off school shelves  and collect them up to distribute fairly to the  developing members. A new problem that OHF has encountered, through the increased knowledge of the need for equipment, is keeping the costs down to actually deliver these items to the new "users" and finding ways to get the gear around the Pacific.

The items that are needed the most are :

1. Sticks and Balls

2 All Goalkeeping Equipment

3. Uniform, including socks, shoes and shin guards

4. Umpiring equipment - whistles, shirts

However, although equipment is an issue, some of the members have been very creative in making their own sticks and finding "balls" to play with.  The growth in the sport in Papua New Guinea has been tremendous. In the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea lack of standard sticks has not stopped their determination to play. Players have carved their own sticks out of the branches of coffee trees and used lemons as the balls! A full bucket of lemons sits on the sideline and once one breaks up another is retrieved from the bucket and the games goes on! (see photos)

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