SportsTalk: Bright future for local hockey
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Written by Clinton Butler, General manager, Tauranga Hockey Association
Winter is well and truly here, and hockey across the Bay is in full swing. With representative campaigns, local competitions and holiday programmes, there is a lot to keep up with.
The U18 tournaments were held in the recent school holidays and both the Tauranga & the Bay of Plenty associations attending. The Tauranga Association U18 boys brought home the bronze medal from their tournament held in Christchurch. They grew together as a team throughout the campaign and attribute teamwork as the main reason for their strong performance. The Bay of Plenty U18 boys had a tough time at tournament finishing 10th of 15 after losing a crucial match vs West Coast in the dying minutes during pool play, meaning they narrowly missed the top eight.
The Tauranga U18 girls also had a strong campaign narrowly missing out on a medal finishing 4th at the tournament in the Wairarapa. The BOP Association U18 girls battled hard in the terrible weather conditions to grab 12th spot of 16 teams; they played great team hockey and developed well over the week-long tournament.
The Midlands regional tournament in Whangarei had players selected from both Tauranga & the Bay of Plenty teams which reflects the strength in hockey in the Bay of Plenty.
‘Hockey Without Limits’ is an innovative programme that was piloted by Tauranga Hockey Association this year to offer opportunities for students with both physical and intellectual disabilities (aged 8 to 23) to play hockey. The programme was an overwhelming success with over 50 students participating from around Tauranga.
Further to this, in the recent school holidays hockey programmes were run in both Katikati and Tauranga. 247 students aged between 5 and 18 were registered for the various days in Tauranga. The youngsters had plenty of fun learning new skills, and finished up with a successful Hockey World Cup day. 30 secondary school athletes from around Tauranga spent Friday morning learning new skills from some of the best hockey players in the region: Kate Savory (Avenues Physio-Fitness), Bethany Millar (Midlands U18), Glenn Eyers (Midlands NHL) and Amy Robinson (Black Sticks). This was a wonderful experience for the up and coming athletes.
With the school holidays finishing up, the BOP saw good numbers at the holiday skills clinics run in Rotorua, Taupo and Whakatane. Budding young hockey stars strapped on their shoes and hit the turf learning the biomechanics of various hockey skills, giving them ability to fix their own errors, all the while having fun and a bit of laugh at themselves on video.
The future is looking bright with our U15 and U13 representative teams training hard in preparation for their national tournaments in October.
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