News for 27 June 2012

All the news for Wednesday 27 June 2012

Ireland Squad for Celtic Cup Announced (m)

Ireland Men’s Coach Paul Revington has today announced his Ireland squad to compete in the upcoming Celtic Cup taking place in Lisnagarvey from Thursday 28th June – Sunday 1st July.

Ireland men will compete against Scotland, Wales and South Africa – the latter who are in preparation for the London 2012 Olympics. France withdrew from all Celtic Cups this year and as such Irish Hockey are delighted to have them included in this tournament.

Commenting on the event Paul Revington said “All the players will be excited to get back into tournament mode again and make significant individual contributions to the continued momentum of the Ireland Team.”

Dominic Walsh, Chair of Sport Northern Ireland also commented “Sport Northern Ireland is delighted to welcome teams from Scotland, Ireland, Wales and South Africa for the Senior Celtic Cup pre-games training event. In addition to securing three pre-games qualifying events, and four pre-games training events, we will also soon play host to the Paralympic Council of Ireland, the Cuban and Australian boxing teams, the Chinese Men’s and Women’s Artistic Gymnasts, athletics teams from Sudan, Quatar, Egypt, Kuwait, the Paralympic Council of Jordan and the South African badminton team.

“We are delighted to have secured ten camps for pre-games training here. Final preparations are underway to welcome all of these international athletes as they prepare and acclimatise for the Games and we wish them every success.” Continued Nick.

Ireland Squad – Celtic Cup

Jonny Bell (Lisnagarvey)
Phillip Brown (Banbridge)
Jonny Bruton (YMCA)
Chris Cargo (Reading)
Kenny Carroll (Railway Union)
David Carson (Corinthian)
Tim Cockram (Lisnagarvey)
Stephen Dowds (Banbridge)
Conor Harte (SCHC)
David Harte (SCHC)
David Hobbs (Cork C of I)
Ian Hughes (Cookstown)
John Jackson (Braxgata) – Capt.
John Jermyn (Cork C of I)
Jason Lynch (Cork C of I)
Eugene Magee (Dragons)
Burce McCandless (Banbridge)
Michael Watt (Santander)

Coach: Paul Revington Asst Coach: Brendan Carolan Manager: Peter Jackson;  Physio: David Richards; S&C / Video: Stephen Barry & Jonny Caren

Additional Notes: Ronan Gormley (Rested); David Fitzgerald (Injury)

Match Schedule

Thursday 28th June 2012

20.00               (Pitch 1)           Ireland v South Africa             (m)

Friday 29th June 2012

17.00               (Pitch 2)           Wales v Scotland                     (m)
18.30               (Pitch 1)           Ireland v Scotland                   (w)

Saturday 30th June 2012

13.00               (Pitch 2)           Wales v Scotland                     (w)
14.00               (Pitch 1)           South Africa v Wales               (m)
16.00               (Pitch 1)           Ireland v Scotland                   (m)

Sunday 1st July 2012

12.00               (Pitch 1)           Wales v Ireland                       (w)
12.00               (Pitch 2)           South Africa v Scotland           (m)
14.00               (Pitch 1)           Ireland v Wales                       (m)

Irish Hockey Association media release

SA hockey men arrive in Dublin as Euro tour gets under way


The South African men's hockey team arrived in Dublin on Tuesday ahead of their eight-match tour of Ireland and Spain.

The 18-man squad, made up of the 16 players named in the SA Olympic squad as well as two additional tour players, will train in the National Stadium at the University College Dublin (UCD), before travelling to Lisburn, Northern Ireland, to take part in the Celtic Cup where they meet Ireland on Thursday.

Ranked 12th in the world, South Africa will use the tour, which includes two matches against 10th-ranked India and one against Spain (world number five), as part of their preparations for the London Olympics.

South Africa's goalkeeper Erasmus Pieterse said he was looking forward to testing the team's skills against some of the best sides in the world.

"This is a really important to for us," Pieterse said on Tuesday. "We are preparing for the biggest tournament of our lives so we have to make sure we start concentrating on stick and ball.

"The Celtic Cup is the perfect tournament to start getting our rhythm going against Wales, Scotland and Ireland."

Following the Celtic Cup in Lisburn, the team return to the National Stadium in Dublin to take part in a three-nation Test series with Belgium and Ireland.

Pieterse added that the matches against the Irish and the Belgian teams would be tougher than expected, as the Irish were unlucky not to qualify for the Olympics, and Belgium had proved their prowess against the best in the world.

"It will be nice to play against a strong Irish team and then of course playing against Belgium," he said.

"The last time we played was at the Champions Challenge (Olympic qualifying tournament in Kakamigahara, Japan, in May) so it will be good to see how much we have improved."

SA head into the Celtic Cup as the highest-ranked nation ahead of Ireland (16), Scotland (22) and Wales (27).

SA Press Association (SAPA)

SA Hockey Association media release

Sometimes shiRt happens

By Daneel Knoetze

First musician Ard Matthews bungled the national anthem, now an unknown embroiderer has sabotaged the men’s national hockey team’s tracksuit.

“South Afica” reads the logo on the back of one. An “r” can be crucial in a word.

But that wasn’t the only error.

The tracksuits also spelt “London” incorrectly. “Londndon 2012” it read, with an extra “nd”.

Leon Fleiser, Sascoc’s team preparations manager, said on Tuesday that the men’s hockey tracksuits were to have been worn during a preparation tour ahead of the Olympics.

“We took immediate steps to rectify the mistake, and the tracksuits have already been replaced,” he said.

But the question remains: how did the mistake go unnoticed until the tracksuits were in the hands of the athletes?

“Sure, it’s just plain stupidity on the part of the embroiderer,” said Beff Hooper, who runs a small business which supplies custom-embroidered tracksuits. “But a lack of quality control on the part of the supplier is where the blame really lies.

“This is what happens when people are too lazy to double-check and proof-read the products which they are commissioning.”

While we may never know where the “r” ended up, the enigma of “Londndon” may be easier to crack. That extra “nd” lends itself to a theory of what may have gone wrong.

An embroiderer types the word “London” on his computer screen (logos are digitally designed before they are transferred onto material). He gets to “Lond,” and then he is distracted. He attends to the distraction and returns to typing. Only, he rehashes the last thing that was on his mind, “nd”.

Journalists, writers and typists do this all the time. It is probably the most common typo of all: the repetition of a word or phrase in the middle of a sentence. “The cat sat on the on the mat.”

Evidently, if you are working on only one word for the day (as the embroiderer of “Londndon” was probably doing), the kind of typo translates into repeated letters, not words or phrases.

But before you cringe in anticipation of a national embarrassment, the official Olympic kit is free of all blunders, assures Fleiser.

“I wouldn’t be speaking to you now if (it wasn’t). I would be out of a job,” he said.

Fleiser refused to reveal the name of the SA company that was responsible for the tracksuit blaps.

However, conspiracy theorists who spoke to the Argus on the condition of anonymity believe the r-scandal has Ard Matthews’s fingerprints all over it.

But it’s also possible that Matthews is not responsible.

Sometimes shirt happens.

Cape Argus

Scots in Celtic Cup campaign

Scotland Senior Men travel to Northern Ireland this week for the annual Celtic Cup, taking place on 29 June-1 July.

The Scots will encounter a Celtic Cup with a twist, as South Africa is invited to participate in the round-robin tournament alongside familiar foes Ireland and Wales. France has withdrawn from the competition this year. Scotland will begin the competition against Wales on Friday, before tackling hosts Ireland and South Africa on the following two days.

Kelburne pairing Alan Forsyth and Michael Bremner continue a busy summer of international hockey after competing in the U21 Celtic Cup in Wales last weekend, while striker Kenny Bain returns to the squad after missing the matches against England 'A'. Goalkeepers Jamie Cachia and Allan Dick come in for Mark Fulton and Phil Carr.

South Africa will provide a strong test for the Scots, Irish and Welsh as they continue their preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Games. The South Africans will come up against Great Britain, Argentina, Australia, Pakistan and Spain in Pool A of the hockey competition in London so will be aiming to enter the Games on the back of a successful warm-up campaign.

Scotland Men: Jamie Cachia (Sheffield HC), Allan Dick (Holcolme HC), William Marshall, Chris Nelson, Iain Scholefield, Gareth Hall, Michael Bremner, Alan Forsyth (all Glynhill Hotel Kelburne), Dan Coultas (Durham University), Wei Adams (Hillhead), Ross Stott (East Grinstead), Gordon McIntyre (Beeston), Callum Duke (Edinburgh University), Christopher Grassick, Fergus Dunn (both Surbiton), Kenneth Bain (HTC Hurley), Iain Moodie (Western Wildcats), Gavin Byers (Grove Menzieshill).

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Japanese finalizes London team

Cherry Blossoms ready to take to Olympic stage

Japan is going to London after winning the Olympic Qualifier on home field (Photo: Stanislas Brochier)

Japan became the lastest team to name it's 16-member team for the London Olympic Games. Highlighting the selection is the inclusion of veterans Akemi Kato, Rika Komazawa, Sachimi Iwao and Kaori Fujio, who will be appearing in their third Olympics.

Akemi Kato is the oldest player officially named to the women's hockey tournament so far. The 41 year-old is expected to be among a handful of team sports athletes in London over the age of 40.

Japan is a top-team team in the FIH World Ranking, and is the highest-ranked team that had to go through the qualification tournament process. Ultimately, Japan earned its place in London after defeating Azerbaijan in the final of its qualifier in Kakamigahara.


No Pos. Name Age
1 GK Sachiyo Asano 24
2 D Ai Murakami 27
3 D Nagisa Hayashi 25
4 D Keiko Manabe 25
5 D Akemi Kato 41
6 D Chie Akutsu 27
7 MF Yukari Yamamoto 30
8 MF Rika Komazawa 29
9 MF Miyuki Nakagawa 25
10 MF Sachimi Iwao 36
11 MF Masako Sato 24
12 MF Izuki Tanaka 19
13 FW Akane Shibata 23
14 FW Aki Mitsuhashi 22
15 FW Kaori Fujio 31
16 FW Shiho Otsuka 22

FIH site

In the Spotlight.... USA women

A closer look at the 24 teams competing at the Olympics

USA will storm into London as the Pan American champions (Photo: Adrian Boehm)

In the Spotlight is a series that will profile each of the 24 participating teams at the London Olympic Games. It will provide a glimpse of what to expect as each squad begins its London quest. Between now and the Olympic opening ceremony a new team will be featured every 2-3 days. Today we take a closer look at the USA women's national team.

The Basics:
The American women are currently 10th in the FIH World Rankings. They have participated four times in the Olympic Games, twice as the host nation, and can boast a bronze medal at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. Their best result in World Cups is also a bronze medal, in 1994 in Dublin. Regular participants in the World Cup since their first appearance in 1983, albeit with modest results, they missed the last one in Rosario after losing the qualifier at home to Korea. After missing the 2000 and 2004 Games, they finally returned to the Olympic stage for the 2008 Games in Beijing after winning the Qualifier in Kazan. For the London Games, they earned an automatic berth by stunning World Champions Argentina in the final of the Pan American Games.

The Road to London:
Up to the 2011 Pan American Games, the Argentinean women had never lost a match in continental competition, and most observers thought that this trend would continue. However, in the final of the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, the USA relied on a tight disciplined defense and boldly seized their attacking chances to register a deserved a historic 4-2 win. In a position to prepare for the Olympics without spending time and energy on a qualifier, USA has played more than 20 test matches since January. After hosting Australia, they travelled to Spain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, then finished with a four-match series at home against Argentina.

Players to Watch:
Veteran Lauren Crandall was instrumental in the Pan American Games victory, anchoring the defense and inspiring her teammates with a relentless work ethic that earned her a spot on the 2011 Pan American Elite Team. The American defense will be further reinforced by the return of Amy Swensen (Tran), elected best goal-keeper of the 2006 World Cup in Madrid and twice selected to the FIH All-Star Team  in 2006 and 2007. She took a break from international duties after the non-qualification for the 2010 World Cup but returned to regain the starting goal-keeper position from talented youngster Jaclyn Kintzer. USA will also count on midfielder Katelyn Falgowski, a rising star on the world stage, named to the 2011 FIH All-Star Team, and on striker Keli Smith-Puzo, returning after her second maternity break.

Australian Lee Bodimeade started coaching the U.S. women in 2005 and immediately raised their level of play, taking them to the 2006 World Cup and 2008 Olympics. Although they missed the 2010 World Cup, he led them to the historic gold medal finish at the 2011 Pan American Games. A former International for Australia, Lee brings high-level playing experience to his coaching position, including an Olympic bronze medal (1992 in Barcelona) and a World Cup bronze medal (1994 in Sydney). He can count on the assistance of USFHA Technical Director Terry Walsh, another Australian international player, with Olympic and World Cup medals.

The American women will arrive in London with a seasoned team that includes seven players with Olympic experience. They will be anchored by a solid defensive unit with an average of 150 international caps. The Americans can also traditionally count on superior fitness that allows them to maintain a high work rate throughout an entire match. 

On the flip side of their relentless collective effort, USA does not have an outstanding player able to make a difference on key plays, or a penalty-corner striker able to score against the top defenses they will face.

Crystal Ball:
The Americans have progressed enormously in the last four years. Although they might not be able to repeat their superb Pan American Games performance, they could surprise a few teams in the tough  B Pool in London (Argentina, Germany, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa) and possibly finish higher than their eighth-place finish at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

FIH site

Clements names 2012 13 US Junior and Senior Mens Field Hockey Squads

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - As the 2012 U.S. Junior Men’s selection camp came to a close, new opportunities opened.

Thirty-two athletes were given five days at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA to earn a spot on the 2012-13 U.S. Junior Men’s Squad. In an immersive camp complete with drills testing both skill level and fitness, U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach Chris Clements strategically selected a group of athletes that will lay the groundwork for a solid foundation for the future of the U.S. Men’s National program. In addition, Clements has announced the athletes that will represent the U.S. (Senior) Men’s National Team for the upcoming year.

Individuals were hand-selected to attend the junior selection camp based on their advance level of play noted at High Performance Centers and by Clement’s personal invite. Six training sessions, four games and meetings gave light into who would be the best fit for the squad.

“The fatigue level increased as the week progressed but the performance level remained high,” said Clements. “We wanted to recreate an environment where the athletes were asked to perform under pressure and it couldn’t have gone any better.”

With a full roster intact, the U.S. Junior Men’s Squad will be touring in New Zealand, August 9-19 and Canada, July 14 – 22 in preparation for the Junior Pan American Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico, September 13 – 23.

“This youthful team will grow to compliment our senior group and strengthen our National Team,” says Clements. “We have a new vision with this young group.”

The senior group’s selection opportunity came during the California Cup over Memorial Day weekend in Moorpark, Cali. With the recent retirements of Patrick Cota, Jarred Martin and Shawn Nakamura, Clements clearly had a large void to fill.

“The likes of Kevin Barber, Jon Ginolfi, Pat Harris, Sean Harris, Ian Scally and Tom Sheridan will be at the front of the ship providing guidance to a very youthful and talented group,” said Clements. “The desire that this group has to represent their country and build on the progress made in recent years is very exciting.”

The biggest step for the Men’s Team will be the introduction of the Central Training Program in September. The Central Training Program is a residency program at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Cali. that focuses on preparing teams to compete at the highest international level. The program provides athletes with an environment that is conducive to elite level training and offers access to state-of-the-art strength and conditioning facilities, medical support and nutritional services. The atmosphere promotes international, Pan Am and Olympic success.     

After much planning and with a vision towards the future and Rio de Janiero 2016, Clements has finalized what he feels is the best team to bring success to the Men’s program.

The following athletes have been selected to the U.S. Senior Men’s Squad:
Kevin Barber, Mikey Barminski, Jed Cunningham, Ajai Dhadwal, Michiel Dijxhoorn, Mohan Ghandi, Jon Ginolfi, Alex Grassi, Sean Harris, Pat Harris, Will Holt, Hans Aki Kaeppeler, Ranveer Kundi, Christian Linney, Steve Mann, Manny Martinez, Johnny Oroczo, Arjan Reyatt, Moritz Runzi, Ian Scally, Tom Sheridan, Andy Sheridan, Paul Singh, Tyler Sundeen, Liam Walsh, Andrew Zayac

The following athletes have been selected to the U.S. Men’s Development Squad:

Sean Cicchi, Kanwarpreet Sidhu Asavir, Singh Kalla, Viren Padhia

The following athletes have been selected to the U.S. Junior Men’s Squad:
Michael Barminski, Sean Cicchi, Andrew Davis, Ajai Dhadwal, Mohan Gandhi, Nick Gendreau, Jaspreet Gill, Alex Grassi, Austin Groeneveld, Phil Hamill, Hans Aki Kaeppeler, Brandon Karess, Ja Ja Kentwell, Ranveer Kundi, Christian Linney, Johnny Orozco, Viren Padhiar, Rutger Pruijs, Spencer Reed, Moritz Runzi, Ranjot Sangha, Josh Schindler, Paul Singh, Tyler Sundeen, Liam Walsh, Pedro Zepada

USFHA media release

How Indian hockey team trains on iPad

Karan Bajaj

When the Indian hockey team qualified for the London Olympics, Hockey India announced a cash prize of Rs 1,00,000 for each player and Rs 50,000 for the support staff. However, coach Michael Nobbs recommended that each player as well as the support staff be given an Apple iPad. The team agreed with the coach and offered the cash prize to be reduced in lieu of the iPads.

Looking at the enthusiasm, Hockey India gave the full cash prize as well as an iPad to each player on the squad. What made Michael Nobbs push for an all-team ownership of the iPad? Nobbs, who is an avid Apple fan, looks at the tablet as a training tool for the team. He stores match videos, reports, replays on the device and uses the tablet for drawing up game plays as well as strategies. Chennai-based Sports Mechanics, a sports performance analytics firm, provides analysis and detailed reports of various matches and players to Nobbs, who then looks at them on the go on his iPad.

Apple apps

He uses apps such as 'AVPlayer HD' that enable videos and replays to be played in slow motion for analysis, 'iPlayBook Field Hockey HD' for drawing match plays and strategy plans as well as 'GoodReader for iPad' - a PDF reader with annotations support that allows Nobbs to highlight elements in various files/ reports.

In team meetings, Nobbs just connects his iPad to a television using a standard HDMI cable and shares training videos, drills and plays with the squad members. Now, with each member of the team having an iPad, Nobbs is not limited to the team meetings for sharing data and ideas. He can easily share things with the team members using mail or Wi-Fi transfer from anywhere and each player can then access it on his personal iPad.

Other than being an Apple fan, Nobbs chose the iPad as, according to him, when it comes to technology, the iPad is capable of doing 95 per cent of the things they would do on a laptop, without adding to the bulk. No virus to worry about, simple to use, plethora of apps, portability, ease of sharing and a fantastic camera for video recording were other reasons for preferring the Apple tablet over others.

Other games worth playing As for the players, all of them love the device and have adapted to it quickly. Other than training, they use it for mails, multimedia, gaming, scanning/ storing documents and browsing the internet. As they have the Wi-Fi + 3G iPad variants, almost all the players and the coach himself, uses an MTNL 3G connection for connectivity on the go. The reason behind opting for an MTNL connection is its pan-India coverage, great pricing plans and excellent data speeds, says Nobbs. The players also use the iPad in conjunction with Seagate's Satellite wireless drive to share and transfer content amongst each other.

VR Raghunath, India's drag flick expert, chipped in, "We are all techie people. Apart from the iPad, everyone on the team uses one or the other variant of the Apple iPhone." The only thing that Nobbs does not like about the iPad is the device's 4mm grid size of the capacitive touch sensor. According to him, it would be better to have a smaller grid size so that it is easier to write on the tablet with precision.

Going ahead, Nobbs said he would like to introduce other connected technologies to the team such as heart rate monitors and GPS trackers that connect to the iPad and let him track the performance and condition of the players instantly, once they become available.

The Times of India

Pakistan hockey : What a disgrace!

By Zakir Hussain Syed

According to a news item, former Indian hockey players and officials in India have arranged a special reception for the London-bound Indian hockey team in New Delhi to wish them best of luck, give them tips for improvement based on their experience and lift their spirits and morale because the performance of the Indian team in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup was almost as poor as that of the Pakistan team. While Pakistan qualified in style for the London Olympics by winning the Asian Games title, India had to go through the grill to qualify. And yet all those who have love for hockey in India have rallied behind their national team to personally extend their support.

In contrast, look at our national character! While the training camp for the Pakistan hockey team was being held in Lahore, we had a number of insignificant former players, backed by certain individuals, staging a protest camp and a sort of hunger strike outside the venue where the national team was training. As if this degradation was not enough, a former stalwart, who thinks himself as the ultimate wisdom in hockey and is desperate to become the coach of the national team, went to the extent of writing that he had received suggestions that Pakistan hockey team who had qualified for the London Olympics on merit should be withdrawn. Can there be anything more degrading than that!

But then that attitude reflects our mentality. He has now addressed a letter to the higher authorities to derail the very organisation that is administering hockey. Just compare the latest situation in India with Pakistan and decide for yourself how low we can stoop in pursuit of vested interests viz-a-viz national interests!

(Zakir Hussain Syed is Pakistan’s internationally renowned sports administrator, sports broadcaster and sports analyst)

The Daily Times

Olympics hockey squad to be named on Sunday

“We are expecting perfect attendance at the camp,” said Junaid. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Pakistan’s hockey squad for the London Olympics will be announced on July 1 after trials, the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) announced yesterday.

The PHF invited 26 probables for the training camp in Abbottabad to begin the final phase of the preparations and a PHF official confirmed that the squad will be announced after holding trials on the same day. Although the PHF recalled several seniors – Rehan Butt, Shakeel Abbasi, Waseem Ahmed, Mohammad Imran and Salman Akber – a selector said there were no automatic choices.

“Although experience will be preferred, fitness and form will be the main criteria before we finalise the squad,” said the selector. “We will give our best to select the top performers in the trials.”

Apart from the players, the selection of a captain for the mega event is also a key decision that the PHF will have to make on Sunday.

Meanwhile, coach Khwaja Junaid confirmed that the players had started arriving for the camp that begins today.

“We are expecting perfect attendance at the camp,” said Junaid.

The Express Tribune

Final phase vital for team combination

LAHORE - Pakistan hockey team coach Khawaja M Juniad termed the final phase of training imperative for finalising the team for the London Olympics.

Talking to the reporters here on Tuesday, he said: “We are going to enter the most crucial phase of our camp in which we will be drawing up a balanced combination for the London Olympics 2012.”

He said now they had ample choice of selection as some veteran players are also part of the final phase of training after attending fitness back up camp held here recently.

“In our training at the hilly centre, we will fully concentrate on erasing the weaknesses noticed in the tour of Europe besides knowing the exact strength and fitness level of our players, irrespective of being senior or junior, to come up with a squad which is equally good of fetching desired results in the mega event,” said the former Olympian.

Junaid said the team management under the able guidance of manager and chief coach Akhtar Rasool was striving hard to lift the level of team’s performance and the camp at a cooler place aimed at imparting some serious training to the players.

To a query, he said that in the training camp, efforts would be made to get the experience with youth after the return of some veteran players.

“It is not reverting back to include veteran players in the camp but it is a way to improve team’s performance because as long as these players are fit enough and satisfy the team management and the selectors they can be a part of the team,” he said.

“We have some talented young players with us, then middle age players too and of course, we have some veterans as well who are rich in experience and can be mentors for the youngster players,” he said.

Junaid refused to predict team’s chances in Olympics and said he did not want to make tall claims. “The team is a talented combination and the way our players performed in the Europe tour, they have the potential to beat any top hockey nation and I pray to Allah for their success in Olympics,” he concluded.

The Nation

Deal of blue turf installer at NHS cancelled

LAHORE - The contract of installation of the blue turf at the National Hockey Stadium (NHS) has been cancelled due to the grave inability of the company to complete the task in due course of time.

“Swallow International was bound to complete the task by the given deadline of June 15, 2012, but failed to do so after wasting month-long time in removing the worn out shock pads,” said a spokesman of the Sports Board Punjab (SBP) here on Tuesday.

He said Afridi was asked many times to complete the work and come up with a day to day report of the progress of the work but on every occasion, he failed to meet the demand of the contract and the notices delivered to him.

“Afridi was also summoned for a personal hearing before Project Director Ahmer Kafi, Deputy Director Planning Naeemullah Bhatti, Deputy Director Tariq Wattoo and SDO Junaid Ahmed. But he did not give any solid answer or suitable statement,” he said.

He even went into arbitration before Secretary Sports Haroon Ahmed Khan who after hearing his case directed Afridi to complete the work as per the tender document, but he maintained his snail’s pace, said the spokesman.

“Afridi even failed to give any undertaking for the timely completion of the project and even did not give any fresh date. He instead came up with a view that in the current weather work cannot be completed and there is also no possibility of work during the month of Ramazan,” he added.

The SBP, after the hearing, cancelled the contract of Swallow International and has given it to the second bidder of the tender TS Builder, who are representing Desso in Pakistan which is the world’s number one company in synthetic manufacturing. They have been asked to complete the work as early as possible, terms of which will be finalised in a due course.

“We have done everything as per the laid down criteria and procedure and we hope the second bidder will execute the project meeting the required internationals standards which Afridi failed to meet,” the spokesman concluded.

The Nation

Hockey tourney attracts 14 teams

Tanzania Hockey Association

The thirteenth edition of the Phoenix hockey championship has attracted a total of 14 teams including four from Kenya, Uganda and Zambia.

The Tanzania Hockey Association’s secretary general, Kaushik Doshi, who is based in Tanga, said the event will be staged at Popatlal Secondary School for three days from July 6.

Doshi named the teams which that have confirmed to compete in the annual championship as title holders Moshi Khalsa, Arusha Twigas, Kili Vijana, Moshi Khalsa B, Tanzania Prisons, TPDF, Dar es Salaam Institute, El Hilal, Burhani and Zanzibar Army.

Kenya is expected to field two teams in the event as Police from Nairobi and Mombasa’s Mvita are looking forward to cross the border.

Uganda and Zambia are expected to field one side each in the championship and these happens to be Kampala Hockey Club and Lusaka Tigers respectively.

This year’s entries are bumper record in the tournament’s history as Doshi says preparation is going on smoothly and teams are expected to arrive from July 5.

During the previous edition Moshi Khalsa beat Tanga El Hilal by a lone goal in a thrilling final.

The tournament has been organised by Tanga Region Hockey Association while Phoenix of Tanzania Assurance in conjunction with Lal Insurance Agency are behind the sponsorship.

The tournament has been blessed by Africa Hockey Federation as it harbours international teams.

Doshi declined to say on the fate of the Tanzania hockey premiership that has so far suffered a huge blow for lack of sponsorship.

For the second year running the premiership has stalled with no solution in sight yet to revive the league.


Revival of hockey in Zimbabwe

Harare district seeing major growth in the sport

A group of school children playing hockey in Zimbabwe. (Photo: Hockey Association Zimbabwe)

In Zimbabwe Schools the Field Hockey Season runs in the second term from May to August.  This year the country has seen major growth of hockey in the Government Schools which is an exciting development for the former Olympic hockey nation.

In the Harare area alone at Fillies/Colts level (U/11), there are 46 schools involved of which 33 are government schools. All 46 schools are playing hockey at grade 3-7 level, with a number of schools having at least two teams per age group.  Some schools have up to six teams in each age group and gender. There three major Harare Junior school festivals to be held this term which will include about 2,000 Children taking part at the different age groups.

At Junior schools alone in Harare there are roughly 9,200 children playing hockey – a huge growth from a few years ago when we barely managed to record 2,000 players.

The Hockey Association of Zimbabwe's aim is to get the same structures and depth set up in all five provinces to ensure the continued growth of hockey in Zimbabwe.  It is exciting to see the numbers and interest growing in hockey.

Souce: Hockey Association of Zimbabwe

FIH site

Sponsorship deal makes Big Difference for Small Sticks hockey

Hockey New Zealand has received a major boost in its goal of introducing more than 100,000 Kiwi kids to the sport over the next five years.

New Zealand Post has agreed to sponsor ‘Small Sticks’ – Hockey New Zealand’s national junior programme for children aged between 4 and 13 years.

“We piloted this last year throughout New Zealand, very successfully, with 1500 children - and this support from New Zealand Post will allow us to scale that up to involve 20,000 school children in 2013,” Hockey New Zealand’s chief executive Hilary Poole said today.

Under the six-figure sponsorship deal New Zealand Post will support the junior programme – which will now be officially branded as “ActivePost Small Sticks” – for at least the next two years, with an option to renew.

ActivePost Small Sticks programmes will be made available in hundreds of schools across the country, and through community sporting bodies.  The programmes include a series of age-based modules – starting with basic skills and building up to full-field 11-a-side hockey.

“It’s a game-based programme, so children learn as they play,” Hilary Poole says. “As they play they develop movement, balance and timing skills - which can also be transferred to their other sporting activities.

“We’re going to significant lengths to ensure this is a quality programme where kids get access to consistent game formats, properly skilled coaches and officials, and equipment – no matter where they are in the country.

“For example, with the in-school programme we’ll be providing teachers with at least four coaching sessions from an accredited coach, and we’ll also be providing resource kits, recruitment materials and a festival day at the end of the programme to celebrate their involvement.”

“Hockey is already one of the country’s fastest growing sports – with 65,000 registered players (up 7% from last year).  Our national mens and womens teams, the Black Sticks, are both Top-8 ranked in the world.  Encouraging young people to try hockey, in the knowledge that a lot of them are going to really love it, can only be good for the future of the sport,” Hilary Poole said.

New Zealand Post’s head of sponsorship, Nicola Airey, says youth hockey is a perfect fit for the ActivePost programme - a major sponsorship initiative by New Zealand Post which encourages Kiwis to get involved in community sports.

“ActivePost already plays a major role in campaigns to increase public participation in sports and recreation in association with Water Safety New Zealand and Athletics New Zealand, and we’re also the chief sponsor of Waka Ama New Zealand,” Nicola Airey says.

“Junior hockey fits in well alongside those existing sponsorships.  It’s a growing sport which is very healthy and family-oriented – and is accessible to a wide range of people – irrespective of gender, age, ethnicity or location.

“Hockey can be played on a wide variety of surfaces, year round, without the need for wildly expensive specialised facilities – so it can be played across urban and rural parts of New Zealand.

“The fact that hockey also has a strong, well organised national body, in the form of Hockey New Zealand, sealed the deal.

"New Zealand Post is excited to work alongside Hockey New Zealand to help increase Kiwi kids’ exposure to this enjoyable and accessible sport,” Nicola Airey said.

Hockey New Zealand Media release