Champions Give Back

Hockeyroos presenting shirts to smallest participants

Oceania Hockey Federation is currently helping to promote hockey as 'a sport for all' amongst the Pacific Island nations, notably Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.

The single largest problem facing these nations and the individual players is the lack of equipment. To give an example, in July 2011, OHF ran a workshop in Papua New Guinea and the 62 U18 participants shared 15 hockey sticks and had 6 balls. Another team from Bena, Easten Highlands in PNG had carved their own sticks out of coffee trees and used lemons as the balls (see photo). As the members grow the sport, especially with youth programmes now in all countries, the demand for equipment is greater and Oceania has had to look at ways to help.

To address this need, OHF created a programme called 'Champions Give Back'. This initiative is to ask those in more fortunate positions help the equipment exchange programme by donating items that can be passed on to the island nations, such as - a stick, balls, shin guard, gloves, goalkeeping gear as well as whistles and warning cards for umpires. Uniforms are also an area of need. 

In July 2009 Oceania Hockey Federation launched the programme 'Champions Give Back' at the Women's Champions Trophy in Sydney, Australia. The name of the programme can be attributed to Graham Child, Vice President of Oceania Hockey Federation, at that time.  The programme received a fantastic response from all competing countries. The items from this event were mainly distributed to Samoa Men's and Women's national teams who were so excited that their new gear was once the property of a 'Champion'.

OHF has in its strategic plan an identified objective to "close the gap" between developed and developing members and so this exchange programme is now part of the programme at all International or Continental Tournaments or Events hosted within the Oceania region. For example: Oceania Cup, Oceania Pacific Cup, FIH World Series and Masters Tours. The equipment collected is presented to the member Federations so that it can be distributed fairly, and they are the ones that know exactly where the need is, in their regions.

The most recent example of exchange was at the 2017 Oceania Cup in Sydney. Hockeyroos Jane Claxton and Rachael Lynch had been to Vanuatu and Solomon Islands in February and had seen the need for equipment first hand and they noted the lack of sefety gear. They contacted their official mouth guard sponsor and arranged for supplies to hand out to the Pacific Island teams competing. Jane and Rachael organised uniform and equipment exchanges that involved their Hockeyroo team mates, the Kookaburras and Hockey Australia. It was like Christmas for the Pacific Island teams when they arrived to find the hallway under the stands filled with uniforms that they could take away !!   

Any donations would be greatly appreciated and to organise that exchange please make email contact with :

OHF CDO Gill Gemming  gill.oceaniahockey@eol.co.nz or OHF Secretary Bob Claxton bob.claxton@bigpond.com

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