A NEW FIELD FOR VANUATU HOCKEY!!!!

It has been an amazing last twelve months for the Vanuatu Hockey Federation (VHF). From entering a women’s team in an international tournament for the first ever time, defeating PNG in the Boys Junior World Cup Qualifiers for Bronze, introducing hockey to over 1000 kids and youth in remote villages and islands in North Efate to developing Port Vila’s first hockey league involving over 250 men women and children, the VHF has only just been able to keep up with the demand!

 

The year has only improved, as the VHF, in partnership with Wan Smolbag prepare to host the grand opening of their latest project; the redevelopment of the main Hockey astro turf field based at the WSB Youth Centre in Tagabe, Port Vila.

 

With such a huge influx of interest for the sport, and absolute demand for more competitions and activities at the Youth Centre, the decision to increase the existing fields capacity was a simple one. The recently completed field is now almost twice the size of the old, providing opportunities for different sports to be played, and more people to be involved.

 

The field will provide a range of new opportunities for a dynamic range of sports, including futsal, basketball, netball and hockey. The Shefa Futsal League, run out of WSB is the biggest in Vanuatu and accommodates over 26 teams. It will now be possible to play two games of futsal at the one time, opening up space for more teams and other sports. New leagues and trainings will be aimed at encouraging women to participate, with assistance from many National federations including Netball, Cricket, Football and Volleyball. The Vanuatu Cricket’s award winning Island Mama’s cricket program will continue to use the new facilities with the benefits of a new bigger field, and the Rainbow Disability group will be able to continue their modified games without being overrun by the daily WSB literacy class sport program. 

 

Not only will the new field provide new opportunities in sport, but the increased participation at WSB is hoped to promoting access to other facilities including the nutrition centre and the new renovated health clinic “Kam Pusem Hed.”

 

For hockey the new field provides an opportunity to further extend the VHF Hockey Leagues, increase trainings and participation levels – especially for girls, increase school hockey clinics and coaching workshops and further developing national teams so that they are more equipped to compete at an international level.

 

Already aspirations of hosting international tournaments have come to pass, with the recent announcement that VHF will host the 2014 Youth Olympic Oceania Hockey5 Qualifiers. The Oceania regional tournament, which is one of only six qualifiers to be held around the world, is the lead up event to the Youth Olympics in Nanjing China 2014. The qualifier will see nations including Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Samoa travel to Port Vila to compete for a spot in the biggest junior sporting event worldwide. This opportunity has only been made possible thanks to the field redevelopment.

 

It is hoped that the venue will be continued to host such tournaments, including the 2017 Mini Pacific Games, providing more opportunities for communities to engage in sport as well as allow Vanuatu to showcase it’s sporting culture.

 

The Grand opening of the VHF/ WSB sporting field will be held on Wednesday 23rd October from 11am – 12pm to thank major sponsors and supporters whilst showcase some of the sporting activities and opportunities made available by the new facility. The event will conclude with a healthy and delicious meal prepared by WSB youth at the nutrition centre. 

 

Have a listen to our ABC Australia Radio interview about the new field & its prospects:

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/tokpisin/2013-10-21/vanuatu-i-redi-nao-long-nupla-hockey-sports-field/1207556

 




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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.

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