Youth Olympic Preparations Move Forward


Preparations to hold Vanuatu’s first ever Official Olympic Tournament are moving along swiftly, despite a few initial funding hurdles. This coming March, Port Vila will be the host of the Youth Olympic Oceania Hockey5s Qualifier – with over 80 athletes and Officials traveling to Vanuatu to compete for a place in the most prestigious international youth competition.


The tournament will be held down at Wan Smolbag Youth Centre, which now thanks to much assistance from Australian Aid and Oxfam, boasts a newly renovated international standard field for the new 5 a side version of hockey.


National U.18 Teams in both the men and women’s will be traveling from Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Fiji to compete against the Vanuatu national teams over the four day tournament. 


As Tournament Hosts, the Vanuatu Hockey Federation has a great deal of responsibility to provide a world class venue. This tournament is the first ever Oceania Hockey Event to see every active federation put forward a team – making it extremely important that preparations go to plan to ensure a successful and well organized tournament for all traveling teams.


“Running a tournament of this magnitude is a daunting task” comments Tournament Sponsorship Coordinator Peter Robinson. “As host we are contracted to provide a long list of things, not only ensuring the venue is up to scratch. We need to support Officials and train Volunteers, cover medical costs and purchase equipment such as game timers, countries flags and hi speed wireless Internet – the list goes on… it ends up being a lot more work than you would think!”    


Despite a last minute challenge with a major grant through the International Olympic Committee, the VHF is working well to coordinate the event preparations.


“New sponsors are now coming on board, as they see the benefits of an Olympic Tournament for the city as well as Vanuatu communities and youth.” Notes Robinson.


Tournament organizers are working hard to ensure that all infrastructure upgrades will be beneficial in the long term, helping to grow international competition in Vanuatu and put Port Vila on the map as a sporting city.  Local players not competing will be trained up and accredited to Officiate and Umpire – giving them the skills to carry on into the future and push the sport forward in Vanuatu, whilst also teaching valuable skills that they will be able to use in upcoming international tournaments.


The Youth Olympic Qualifiers will take place from the 8th-11th March. For any one interested in supporting or being involved with this exciting event check out the official website:


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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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