Preparations are under way for Oceania Intercontinental cup in Sydney Australia.The Mens team will be hoping to go more better than the silver they won at last year in world league round 1! Team to be announced soon! Hopefully both Men and Women team will be competed in the tournament.
Bringing Hockey to Havannah Harbor
Hockey is Vanuatu’s fastest growing sport, as it continues to spread throughout villages and island in North Efate. In the past 2 months, The Vanuatu Hockey Federation (VHF) has held a number of workshops to over 400 girls and boys in villages and islands including Mangiliui, Moso and Lelepa.
The influx of interest has emerged after recent success stories of the VHF. In the past year Vanuatu has sent it’s first ever women’s team to compete in an international tournament, won two bronze medals in Men’s Pacific tournaments including Junior World Cup Qualifiers in Gold Coast (defeating PNG for the first time) and has sent two boys on a exchange program to Australia for 3 months.
Tanoliu Village in North Efate has been involved in hockey since its creation in Vanuatu almost 6 years ago. From this one village, 12 boys and 4 women have represented Vanuatu internationally in either Fiji or Australia. There is also one player, Morris Aromalo who is currently living and playing in Gold Coast Australia on a 3 month exchange program.
After seeing the success and achievements brought to Tanoliu village through hockey, a chiefs and teachers from villages in the area were eager to get involved.
“The demand for hockey has been immense” Says VHF President George Kalkaua. “Villages have seen what fantastic opportunities hockey has given to youth and the community in Tanoliu, and are keen to be a part of it.”
At this point the VHF is doing the best it can to keep up with demand, with access to donated equipment being the biggest challenge.
“The programs is already have all kinds of positive effects” comments Aelan Hockey Project Manager and Star National Coach Peter Robinson. “Last week in Lelepa the whole village came down to watch the kids come to play. Girls and boys of all ages were eager to participate – you could tell they wanted to learn more!”
Past players, including some national players from Tanoliu Village have been involved in the coaching of the new communities, which has been a great experience for everyone involved.
The VHF is planning to introduce a new “North Efate Hockey League” in 2014. The league will involved teams from Havannah Harbor and Undine Bay to give more children and youth an opportunity to be involved competitively in the new team sport.