News for 15 August 2013

All the news for Thursday 15 August 2013


USA edged Mexico to join Argentina in semi-finals

2013 Pan American Cup, Men - Brampton - Day 4 (Pool A)

Yan Huckendubler, PAHF



(Photo: DETAILS_GROUP)

Argentina continued their march forward with another relax win against Uruguay (29-0); they will be joined in semi-finals by the USA, who had to battle until the last minute to edge out an exciting young Mexican team (3-2).

Match 11 - Argentina vs. Uruguay 29-0 (half-time: 13-0)

If there was any doubt in the result of this match, the suspense did not last long: top scorer of the competition Facundo Callioni increased his personal tally to 6 goals in the 2nd minute of play with a bouncing ball that baffled Jose Lasa in the Uruguayan goal.

Gonzalo Peillat added a penalty corner a few minutes later, Agustin Mazzilli inherited a ball in front t of the keeper with no defender in sight for the 3rd goal, and the Argentinean had a commanding lead after 7 minute and without even breaking a sweat.

With 10 minutes to go in the period, Argentina were up 10-0 and not showing any sign of slowing down their scoring spree. Uruguay could only manage some sporadic raids forwards and Juan Vivaldi was having a quiet afternoon in the Argentinean goal. Half-time was reached with a hefty lead for Argentina (13-0).

Even if there was logically a deep difference between the two teams (one ranked 10th in the world and the other ranked 47th), the crowd was treated to a spectacular display of individual and collective skills by the Argentineans, who cruised to a 29-0 win, very close to their record of 30-0 against the Dominican Republic during the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo.

For more information and pictures of ARG vs. URU, click here.

Match 10 - Mexico vs. USA: 2-3 (half-time: 1-1)

Both teams arrived into this match with one win and a loss, and therefore still with the possibility of making the semi-finals with a win in this last pool match. However, Mexico lost heftily to Argentina (2-13) and a draw would favour the USA.

Match was balanced to start, the American attackers facing a well-organized and disciplined Mexican defense. The USA could not capitalize on their first penalty-corner, shot just wide, and Mexico were also unsuccessful at the other end after a swift counter-attack. The young Mexicans became progressively more entrepreneurial and stunned the Americans in the 17th minute with a goal by Francisco Aguilar after good pressure on the American defense.

The USA tried to build opportunities patiently but generated few shots on goal, with their best chance a strong shot by Pat Harris from close range well handled by Moisés Vargas in the Mexican goal. Harris was however on target in the 33rd minute with a diving deflection to tie the score going into the half-time break (1-1).

Mexico knew that they needed to score and immediately set to the task, forcing a penalty-corner in the 39th minute. Aguilar was impeded illegally while shooting and converted himself the resulting penalty-stroke to give back a narrow one-goal lead to Mexico. The USA thought that they had once again closed the gap in the 48th minute but the goal was denied and the subsequent penalty-corner shot wide.

The USA played with more and more urgency, but the Mexicans managed to keep their compact defensive structure for a while. There was however only so much pressure they could sustain and Pat Harris scored a superb goal, his 2nd of the match, to bring back the score level with 10 minutes to go. The end of match was exciting, with the Mexicans pushing desperately for a third goal and Francisco Aguilar creating havoc in the American defense, but they had to play short the final minutes of the match after a yellow card to one of their defenders, and Pat Harris completed his hat-trick in the final minute of play with a phenomenal penalty-corner that shaved the crossbar.

With the win, the USA move on to the semi-final and will have to wait until later today to know their opponent.

For more information and pictures of MEX vs. USA, click here.

Schedule for Thursday August 15:
9h00 (cross-over 5-8): 3A Mexico vs. 4B Brazil
11h30 (cross-over 5-8): 3B Chile vs. 4A Uruguay
17h00 (semi-final): 1A Argentina vs. 2B Trinidad & Tobago
19h30 (semi-final): 1B Canada vs. 2A USA

Pan American Hockey Federation



Canada surge past Trinidad & Tobago to top of Pool B

2013 Pan American Cup, Men - Brampton - Day 4 (Pool B)

Yan Huckendubler, PAHF



(Photo: DETAILS_GROUP)

Canada pleased the home crowd with a strong performance against Trinidad & Tobago to grab first place of Pool B; despite a win against Brazil (5-0), Chile is relegated to the second tier of the competition.

Match 12 - Canada vs. Trinidad & Tobago 3-1 (half-time: 3-1)

Before the last match of pool play, Trinidad & Tobago were leading Pool B with 6 points (2 wins), with Canada and Chile just behind with 4 points (1 win and 1 draw). Trinidad & Tobago were qualified for the semi-final whatever the result of the game, but Canada needed a win (to qualify in 1st place) or a draw (to qualify in 2nd place then face Argentina in the next round). The Chilean team was cheering for Trinidad & Tobago, as a Canadian loss would push them into a semi-final berth!

Antoni Kindler was called into action early in the Canadian goal, on a deflection from close range, and Canada were dangerous at the other end following a powerful circle penetration by Matthew Guest, to set the attacking tone of the match. Trinidad & Tobago were first on the scoreboard in the 7th minute on an own-goal by a Canadian defender on a long ball hit in the crowded circle. This set-back triggered an immediate reaction from the Canadians and they forced a penalty-corner but, as seems to be very much a trend on this pitch, could not trap the ball properly.

A long period of Canadian domination followed, but the Trinidadians were doing a good job frustrating them before they reached a shooting position. Trinidad & Tobago were dangerous on swift counter-attacks, forcing Canada to keep some deep defenders. Play was flowing back and forth in an entertaining way, but with no shooting opportunity at either end, until the 21st minute when Iain Smythe managed to find the ball in a goal-mouth scramble and propel it in the roof of the net to level the score at 1-1.

With the two teams back on par, Canada seemed to regain confidence and Andrey Rocke in the Trinidadian goal had to manage some hot situations in front of him. Canada expertly defended a penalty-corner with 5 minutes to go in the period and on the next action forced a penalty-corner which they, for once, executed perfectly to take the lead with 2 minutes left in the period. They had time to add a third goal by Matthew Sarmento and went into the break with a two-goal lead (3-1), much to the relief of the home crowd.

Trinidad & Tobago seemed to have lost the spring in their pace at the beginning of second period and Canada were all over the Trinidadian circle, but they could not increase their tally past their two-goal lead, despite some clear chances. That allowed Trinidad & Tobago to progressively come back into their game, with the tireless work of veteran Kwan Browne who seemed to be everywhere on the field, and Canada had to defend a few critical situations.

Canada seemed to go back into a defensive shell with ten minutes to go, conceding 3 penalty-corners in a row, and the ghost of the late Chilean comeback hovered on the Canadian side of the pitch, especially when Mark Pearson received a yellow card. The last minutes of the match were all played in the Canadian defensive end, but they held tight to grab the top spot in pool B and a semi-final berth against the USA on Thursday, while Trinidad & Tobago will face Argentina in the other semi-final.

For more information and pictures of CAN vs. TTO, click here.

Match 9 - Brazil vs. Chile: 0-5 (half-time: 0-1)

Brazil have played well in this competition but still lost their first two matches (1-3 vs. Canada and 2-5 to Trinidad & Tobago). Chile started well with a draw against Canada but were surprised by Trinidad & Tobago, conceding a hefty loss (1-5) that forced them to win this last pool match with a wide margin to have a slim chance to qualify for the semi-finals.

Both teams started tentatively, possibly because of the strong cold wind sweeping the pitch in this early morning. Chile had most of the ball possession but Brazil was well regrouped in defense around their captain Ernst Rost Onnes, not leaving any space for the Chilean attackers to penetrate the circle. Chile earned their first penalty-corner in the 18th minute and Martin Rodriguez deflected the ball at the right post to open the scoring.

Chile had another penalty-corner soon after and tried a combination on the other side of the goal, but to no avail. The Brazilians did not lose their structure and kept frustrating the Chilean attackers around the circle. They pushed forward in the last ten minutes of the period and forced a series of three penalty-corners, but could not make them count, with 2 big saves by Adrian Henriquez in the Chilean goal.

Chile started to show frustration and Brazil had a few late chances, including a penalty-corner on the buzzer, but score did not evolve and the break was reached with a slim one-goal margin for Chile.

Chile knew that they needed to score more goals. They immediately set to the task at hand, and Felipe Eggers managed to pick up the rebound from a penalty-corner originally mistrapped. They added a 3rd goal soon after by Alexis Berczely, again on penalty-corner, and things were suddenly looking brighter for them.

Brazil however nearly scored on the next action after stealing a ball from a sloppy defensive clearance, and had a chance on the subsequent penalty-corner, but Adrian Henriquez was again up to the task in the Chilean goal. Chile were more efficient at the other end and scored a 4th goal, once again on penalty-corner, this time by Jaime Zarhi, to push the score to 4-0.

After a 5th goal by Thomas Krussig on penalty-stroke, Brazil had a good reaction and caught the Chilean defense flat-footed to force another penalty-corner, but they still could not convert it. Chile seemed satisfied with the 5-0 scoreline and did not show the same urgency in the final minutes of play. They will have to wait for the results of the match between Canada and Trinidad & Tobago later tonight to know if they are qualified for the semi-finals.

For more information and pictures of BRA vs. CHI, click here.

Schedule for Thursday August 15:
9h00 (cross-over 5-8): 3A Mexico vs. 4B Brazil
11h30 (cross-over 5-8): 3B Chile vs. 4A Uruguay
17h00 (semi-final): 1A Argentina vs. 2B Trinidad & Tobago
19h30 (semi-final): 1B Canada vs. 2A USA

Pan American Hockey Federation



Canadian field hockey team in last four

Canada beat Trinidad and Tobago 3-1 in Brampton last night to top Pool B with 7 points in the Pan American Cup field hockey tournament.

The Canadian men's team had already qualified for the last four, but the win helped them avoid meeting favourites Argentina. Instead they will now play USA who finished second in Pool A.

Argentina, which finished with 9 points winning all three matches in Pool A plays Trinidad and Tobago at 5 p.m. tonight while the Canada-U.S. game is set for 7:30 p.m.

The teams are vying for a lone World Cup sport from this region.

The matches can be seen on a live stream on www.panamhockey.org/en/livestreaming

The Hamilton Spectator



U.S. Men’s National Team posts 3-2 come-from-behind win over Mexico

Pat Harris sends Team USA into semi-finals and records second hat trick at Pan American Cup


BRAMPTON, Ontario – Patrick Harris (Moorpark, Cali.) scored the game-winning goal in the 70th minute, leading the U.S. Men’s National Team to the semi-finals at the Pan American Cup in Brampton, Ontario with a 3-2 victory over Mexico. Harris scored all three of USA’s goals, earning his second hat trick of the tournament.

“Our team persevered and showed a lot of courage and professionalism in the way they managed themselves throughout a difficult match,” said head coach Chris Clements. “To come back twice and score the game-winner in the final minute to secure our place in the semi-finals was very encouraging for the group. Our team showed great composure right through to the very end.”

“We got off to a rough start being down 1-0, but we battled back,” said U.S. midfielder Michael Barminski. “I think our team showed great composure and to go from being down 1-0, and then down 2-1, and win, 3-2, in the final minute shows a lot of strength and courage. I am happy we are in to the semi-finals with the chance to go to the championship.”

Midway through the first half, Mexico’s Francisco Aguilar gave his team its first lead, scoring on a penalty corner in the 17th minute. The U.S. evened the score, 1-1, two minutes before the end of the first half when Harris redirected a pass from Michael Barminski (Ventura, Cali.) into the net.

Mexico regained the advantage going ahead, 2-1, with a penalty stroke in the opening minutes of the second half. The U.S. did not let up, coming from behind again in the 58th minute to tie the match, 2-2.

In the final minute, the U.S. was awarded with a penalty corner and once again, Harris put the ball in the back of the net for the game-winner. Instead of a drag flick, which Harris used to score four goals against Uruguay on Monday, Harris made a last minute decision to carry the ball around into the circle, around a defender and into the net.

“I wanted the game to be over,” said Harris. “I didn’t plan on going around the defender, but the ball was bouncing so in the moment I changed my mind, went around him and thought to myself this is going in.” 

The victory over Mexico sends the U.S. into the semi-finals on Thursday, August 15 against an undetermined opponent. The U.S. will play the winner this evening’s match between Trinidad and Tobago and host Canada. Canada defeated Brazil, 3-1, in their Pan Am Cup opener and drew with Chile 2-2. Trinidad and Tobago also defeated Brazil, 5-2, as well as Chile, 5-1.

USFHA media release



Masters European Open

The European Open Hockey Masters is currently being hosted in Lisnagarvey Hockey Club, Lisburn.

This competition is hosting countries such as Ireland, England, Australia, Scotland, South Africa, Wales, Germany, Holland and USA across different age categories - Over 40's; Over 45's; Over 50's and Over 55's.

To find out more about this tournament and latest results just click here

For a quick link to the match schedule just click here

For more about the Irish Masters in general visit their site here

Irish Hockey Association media release



US Mens Masters Over 50 Team draw Netherlands in tournament opener

The U.S. Men's Masters Over-50 Team started the European Masters Open in Lisnagarvey, Northern Ireland, with a hard fought, 2-2, draw against hockey powerhouse the Netherlands. The U.S. warmed up for the tournament with three days of practices and a match against Scotland which resulted in a 0-0 draw.

The U.S. had to defend for much of the first half against the Netherlands. The Netherlands scored first when they picked off a clearing pass and knocked one in goal. The U.S. regrouped and mounted some counter attacks. The U.S. won three penalty corners but were unable to convert. In the 25th minute, a searching ball into the circle from Andrew Dunning was superbly deflected into the roof of the net by a diving Brian Spencer. Soon after, Simon Gray deflected a pass from Don Warner just over the crossbar.

The second half continued in similar fashion, with the U.S. working very hard in a half court zone to deny the Netherlands circle penetrations. However, a well-worked penalty corner variation put the Netherlands back in the lead with 18 minutes remaining in the match.

The U.S. continued to work hard and started to generate some concerted pressure. The U.S. won three penalty corners in the final ten minutes. One was cleared off the line by a post player, but the third was nailed home by Richard Hayden in the 67th minute, giving the U.S. a well-deserved, 2-2, draw.

The match saw first U.S. Master's appearances by Don Warner, Steve Penny, Richard Hayden and John Hoven, who all worked hard in the midfield, and Neville Gardner and Curtis Sherk, who both played solid defense. Returning from last year's Canterbury International Hockey Federation's Masters World Cup were forwards Simon Gray and Brian Spencer, midfielders Andrew Dunning, Dieter Hillert and Ian Wagge and defenders Phil Danaher, Amjad Zia and Peter Jones. The goalkeeper is Warren Prestwich. Mike Coleman unfortunately dislocated his shoulder in the warm-up match and the team is hoping he will be able to return to action soon. Todd Koch is the manager and Peter Jones doubles up as a player and a coach.

The team greatly appreciates the support of the U.S. Men's Field Hockey Foundation and USA Field Hockey. The next match is against Wales on Wednesday, August 14.

USFHA media release



Women's over 40s beat Ireland in Belfast

A Scottish Select Over 40s team playing in the European Open Masters in Belfast have started with a well deserved win over the host team.

After a strong start, where Scotland unfortunately failed to convert five penalty corners within the space of six minutes, Ireland came into their stride and played a fast, attacking game thereafter.

Scotland defended exceptionally well and the half ended 0–0. The Scottish team were well controlled from the centre by the quartet of Lizzie Sturrock, Marge Taylor, Sharon Duncan and Ali Ramsay, giving their team mates a sound platform to work from.

Persistence and hard work were rewarded in the 43rd minute by an excellent goal from Fi Harfield who sent the ball into the roof of the net after a solid pass from Norma Bownie.

The team, being coached from the sidelines by Mabe Neish - who is unfortunately unable to play herself due to a knee injury, worked hard to retain the lead against a creative and skilful Irish team and come out the victors.

Today they face a well-disciplined England team but the Scots are looking forward to the challenge ahead and will use the game to prepare for their game against Australia tomorrow.

SCOTLAND SQUAD

Sue Mitchell, Chantal Guillet, Fiona Harfield, Lizzie Sturrock (VC), Denise Fairbairn, Norma Brownie, Netty Horne, Marg Taylor, , Ali Ramsay (C), Rosie McColgan, Sandra Pattinson, Jacky Wilson, Gail Nelson, Maggie Conacher, Mabe Neish (Coach), Sharon Duncan (Coach)

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Tanzania: Men's Hockey Team Yet to Get Sponsor for Kenya Trip

WITH only a month to the Africa Cup of Nations hockey tournament Tanzania men's team has not yet secured sponsorship. The continental tournament is scheduled for September 26 to October 5 in Nairobi, Kenya and the matches will be played at City Park hockey stadium which has the standard astro pitch.

Tanzania Hockey Association (THA) secretary Kaushik Doshi said yesterday the country will be forced to send only the ladies team which has already confirmed participation.

"Tanzania men's side is yet to secure sponsors for its participation in the prestigious event despite approaching many multi-national companies," he said. "It's really a big blow to the country's hockey as sponsors shy away from sponsoring the national team," he added.

Countries which have confirmed participation in the men's series are Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Africa, Zimbabwe and hosts Kenya. Doshi said the ladies participation in the tournament is financed by the Italian Hockey Federation, a non-governmental organization Cooperazione Paesi Emergenti (COPE), two other Italian firms - Tulime Onlusa and Lion Club Savona - as well as individual Italian players.

He said the Tanzania ladies who will compete alongside Egypt, Ghana, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and hosts Kenya are currently undergoing intensive off-camp training at the Lugalo Barracks grounds. But they need a descent camp and allowances to fine tune for the grueling competitions ahead and ensure that they host high the national flag in Nairobi," he said.

"We still need material and financial support to ensure that the team is adequately prepared and ready to hoist high the national flag in Nairobi, Doshi said. The team is under coach Valentine Quaranta, a former Italian national team member, who is assisted by Mnonda Magani. Apart from playing some local trials the ladies are also intending to travel to Mombasa, Kenya within few days for a series of international friendlies.

The ladies team competed at the recent Phoenix Hockey Tournament that involved 11 men's teams, six of which were local while Kenya, Uganda and Zambia fielded one each.

Despite men's dominance in the event in which Kenya Police retained their title, competing and training together with men will make the ladies team strong by the time the continental championship is underway.

The Africa Cup of Nations tournament will serve as a qualifier for the World Cup hockey competition scheduled for 2014. It was last held in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe in 2010 and South Africa won both the men's and women's titles after defeating Egypt 3-2 and Ghana 3-1 respectively.

All Africa



Natascha Keller calls it a day

Germany legend & five times Olympian ends her playing career



END OF AN ERA: Germany legend Natascha Keller has announced her retirement from all forms of the game. (Photo: FIH / Stanislas Brochier)

Natascha Keller, one of the finest players of her generation and a true icon of German hockey, has announced that she is quitting all forms of the game. The sensational striker, 36, confirmed the news on Tuesday (13 Aug), bringing to an end the career of one of hockey’s most celebrated and respected talents.

Keller represented Germany on 425 occasions, earning 389 caps outdoors whilst also collecting 36 indoors. She also netted a staggering international 209 goals, with 142 coming in the 11 a-side game. Her finest moments include winning Gold at the Athens 2004 Games, claiming two Indoor World Cups (2003 / 2011) and being named FIH Player of the Year in 1999.

Keller – who was recently named as one of three inaugural members of the European Hockey Federation (EHF) Hall of Fame alongside Teun de Nooijer (NED) and Santi Freixa (ESP) – ended her international career immediately after the London 2012 Olympics, but continued to play club hockey for Berliner HC, helping them to win both the national indoor and outdoor championships in her final playing season.

More information about Natascha Keller’s glittering career can be found in the article below. The story was written by Cathy Harris – famed hockey correspondent for The London Times newspaper and member of the EHF communications committee – for the European Hockey Federation website.

Natascha Keller calls it a day

When your surname is Keller there's not much doubt that a glittering international hockey career awaits. After signing off at the 2012 London Olympic Games Natascha, or "Taschi" as she is affectionately known, retired as her country's most capped player and Olympian. The 36-year-old striker had represented Germany in 389 internationals (and 36 indoors) playing in a record-breaking five Olympics.

To cap it all, Taschi had the honour of carrying the flag at the Opening Ceremony in London thus becoming the first hockey player honoured by Germany in this way.

Her grandfather Erwin, a silver medal-winner at the 1936 Games in Berlin, her father Carsten and brothers Andreas and Florian – all Olympic gold-medallists – must have been bursting with pride.

Keller was kept in the dark as to who the other two players in the Hall of Fame are until the official press announcement was made. "Marijke Fleuren, president of the European Hockey Federation, phoned me and told me. It is such a huge honour for me especially being named alongside two of the game's great players. My family and all my friends are delighted" she said.

Making her debut in a 4-3 victory over the Netherlands in 1994, Keller opened her international account in her team's 3-1 win against Spain the following year. It was to be the start of a stupendous career as one of the most feared respected goal scorers in the world as her impressive statistics reveal: 389 outdoor internationals and 209 goals. That's some scoring ratio!

Defenders and goalkeepers alike must have come to dread the familiar thud against the backboards as she whipped in another spectacular shot on the reverse or pounced to flick the ball in from close range. Give her a centimetre at your peril and she would make you pay!

Mild-mannered and shy off the pitch, she rarely let her emotions show on it. Goals were acknowledged with the minimum of fuss or elaborate celebrations and although she was always tightly marked and provoked by defenders it simply wasn't her style to retaliate.

Kate Walsh, the England and Great Britain captain, has played against Keller for most of her career with the defender saying she was a very tricky forward to play against. Walsh added: "She could make any situation in to a goal scoring opportunity. If Germany had the ball I was always thinking 'where's Natascha?!'

"She was one of the best – deceptively quick with lightning quick hands and an ability to create a shot from practically anywhere. I remember watching a video of some of her indoor skills which were awesome but she continued as though it was perfectly normal! She was technically gifted and innovative but also very humble.

"There's no doubt she's one of the greatest female players in the last twenty years and I feel honoured and proud to have been on the pitch with her and done battle on many occasions. I wish her all the luck in the world for whatever her future may bring."

Natascha's predatory instincts go back to when she was a six year-old growing up in Berlin. From the minute she first picked up a stick she was hooked on hockey. Nowadays she can be seen playing tennis which she enjoys, along with golf and no doubt she will quickly make her mark on the fairways.

And after much reflection, she has decided to step down from club hockey and the club she has represented with such distinction over three decades.

She admits it was a bitter-sweet moment when she played her final international at the 2012 London Olympics. "I was both laughing and crying and even though I carried on playing in the Bundesliga where Berlin won both the national indoor and outdoor titles, there are so many other beautiful things I want to experience.

"The golf is great fun and I play a lot of tennis – I'm not missing hockey. But I'll be around the game and perhaps take up coaching in future. Hockey will always be a part of me but for now I'm looking to the future."

HONOURS BOARD AT A GLANCE

- A record 425 caps for Germany (389 outdoor and 36 indoor) and 209 goals (142 outdoor and 67 indoor)
- Five Olympic Games
- Olympic gold medal 2004
- Champions Trophy gold 2006
- European Championship gold 2007
- Two World Cup gold indoor 2003, 2011
- Three European indoor championship gold 1998, 2002, 2006
- Four Champions Trophy silver 1997, 2000, 2004, 2008
- Four European Championship silver 1999, 2005, 2009, 2011
- Bronze medals: World Cup 1998, Champions Trophy 1999, European Championships 1995, 2003 and World Cup indoor 2007.
- FIH World Player of the Year 1999

For more details on the EHF Hall of Fame, click here...

European Hockey Federation media release



Kookaburra 'Whetty' tackles City2Surf

Jake Whetton undertaking challenge to raise money for Variety


Kookaburra Jake Whetton has taken on a different sort of challenge from his everyday training to be an Olympic star. He is preparing to tackle the City2Surf 21km half marathon in Perth next weekend in aid of children’s charity Variety.

Explaining his motivation, Whetton says, “I have always wanted to do a triathlon but to be 100% honest I don’t think I could swim 2km to save myself. So, I thought, ‘how about a marathon, or start with a half marathon and go from there?’

“Whilst looking into the run I found out that you could also help fund raise for a charity of choice. I chose the Variety Children's Charity to raise funds and awareness for the daughter of former Kookaburra Nathan Eglington and his wife Lisa. Their little girl Stella has been diagnosed with incredibly rare Pentasomy X Syndrome. I am very blessed to be a part of Stella's life and to be great friends with the Eglingtons. Hopefully this can help out a family in need in a little way in the future.”

Variety - the Children’s Charity is a national not-for-profit organisation committed to empowering Australian children who are sick, disadvantaged or have special needs to live, laugh & learn. By giving practical equipment, programs & experiences, Variety helps children in need to overcome whatever obstacles they face & live life to the fullest.

Whetty’s ‘Hero Meter’ already shows tremendous success in his fundraising effort, having now raised more than $1300 for the charity. And with just over a week to go he’s hoping to go even further to support more children like Stella.

If you’d like to know more about his challenge or make a donation please visit Jake’s fundraising page here.

Good luck Whetty!

>> To find out more about Whetty’s City2Surf challenge, visit his fundraising page here.
>> To find out more about Variety and the work it does, visit the charity’s website here.
>> To discover more about Pentasomy X Syndrome click here (third party support group website).

Hockey Australia media release



SA cannot keep Johor date

By Jugjet Singh


SOUTH Africa have pulled out of the Third Sultan of Johor Cup, and the new dates for the six-team hockey tournament have been set for Sept 21-29.

Johor HA deputy president Manjit Majid Abdullah said the South Africans are keen to play but money is their hurdle.

"We received notification on South Africa's withdrawal and now the dates have been shifted two days later to accommodate the fixtures.

"South Africa said they are ready and keen to play, but funding is a big problem and that is why they decided to pull out," said Manjit.

South Africa have qualified for the Junior World Cup in New Delhi in December, and so have all the other six teams who will be in Johor -- Malaysia, South Korea, England, Argentina, India and Pakistan.

Malaysia are the inaugural champions while Germany lifted the crown last year.

"Since all six teams have qualified for the Junior World Cup, I believe they will bring their best to Johor for a final warm-up. It will be a sizzling tournament," said Manjit.

The Sultan of Johor Cup is the only under-21 invitational in the world.

New Straits Times



What are you thinking, MHC?

Comment by AFTAR SINGH



Juniors who are also in the senior squad – including Faiz Helmi Jali (left) of Johor – will have played in three tournaments (Asia Cup, Razak Cup and Sultan of Johor Cup) in one month!

WHAT in the world were the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) competitions committee thinking of when they drew up the calendar for this year?

The committee must be held accountable for scheduling two tournaments just days apart – with the 51st edition of the Razak Cup being held in Kuantan from Sept 5-15 and the Sultan of Johor Cup in Johor Baru from Sept 19-29.

What makes the scheduling absurd is that the Project 2013 squad players will have to feature for their respective states in the Razak Cup.

The national juniors will then hardly have any time to rest before competing in the Sultan of Johor Cup, which is an important assignment in preparation for the Junior World Cup in Chandigarh, India, from Dec 6-15.

World class teams like England, Argentina, South Africa, India, Pakistan and South Korea have been invited to feature in Johor Baru.

So, is it wise for the juniors to play in both the tournaments? Common sense will tell you that they should feature in just the Sultan of Johor Cup.

If any of them were to get injured in the Razak Cup, it will jeopardise the national team’s chances in the Sultan of Johor Cup – and not to mention the Junior World Cup.

The juniors will not be able to give their best in two tournaments, either.

So, why make them play in both the tournaments, then?

Surely MHC do not want to see the juniors struggling and finishing as wooden-spoonists in the Sultan of Johor Cup – or do they?

The national juniors shocked everyone by winning the inaugural tournament in 2011 before finishing a disappointing last in the six-nation tournament last year.

Do we want our team to finish last again?

Let the juniors concentrate solely on the Sultan of Johor Cup because that way they will know where they stand against the other five teams in the world.

The aim is for the national juniors to lift the Cup for a second time in Johor.

The juniors are not alone in their predicament. It looks like even the seniors will not have much of a rest.

After featuring in the Asia Cup in Ipoh from Aug 24-Sept 1, they will have to play in the Razak Cup just four days later.

That means four juniors who are also in the senior squad – defenders Faiz Helmi Jali (Johor) and Mohd Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin (Perak), midfielder Mohd Fitri Saari (Terengganu) and forward Mohd Firhan Ashaari (Terengganu) – will have played in three tournaments (Asia Cup, Razak Cup and Sultan of Johor Cup) in one month!

They’d be completely exhausted by the time they feature in the Sultan of Johor Cup. And they will still be blamed if they fail to do well.

It would be better for the competitions committee to postpone the Razak Cup to a later date.

Wait, there’s more.

As ridiculous as it sounds, Malaysia will also be hosting two major international hockey tournaments at the same time.

Apart from the Sultan of Johor Cup (Sept 21-19), the country will also play host to the Women’s Asia Cup at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil from Sept 21-27.

MHC should think of the players’ performances and not make a mockery of the tournaments.

Don’t just think of your convenience, MHC.

Be more professional and help hockey regain its place as one of the core sports in the country.

The Star of Malaysia



Competitive indoor hockey in England to become 5-a-side


The International Hockey Federation (FIH) recently made a decision to implement a number of changes to Indoor Hockey that will come into force on 1 September 2013.

The most significant of the modifications will reduce the number of players on the field of play from six to five per team to create ‘Hockey5s’. The decision was made in line with the FIH’s strategic vision to enhance rules and formats to maintain hockey’s position as one of the most progressive sports on the Olympic Programme. The move is aimed at creating more space on the field of play, ensuring a more exciting spectacle for spectators and television audiences. A critical factor in the decision-making process of the FIH Executive Board was the desire to align Indoor Hockey to a future standardized Hockey5s format of the game.

Following the FIH’s announcement, England Hockey considered its position on the optimal time to introduce this change in format, and underwent a process of research incorporating key stakeholders across both performance and grass roots levels in indoor hockey.

Following the feedback and the priorities highlighted around maintaining consistency across all levels of competition, the Board’s decision is to implement the change from six to five-a-side from September 2013, encompassing all indoor hockey played in England. We, and the majority of the key stakeholders we consulted, feel it is vital to align domestic and international hockey.

England Hockey Chief Executive Sally Munday commented: “We felt it was important to take opinion from various stakeholders to make a qualified decision on how to proceed, and it was clear that the consistency of format was essential to helping the indoor game continue to flourish in England. Given the short timeframe the FIH has provided for implementation, we had to undertake this consultation at very short notice. I am extremely grateful to the representatives from our clubs, schools and other partners who have responded so quickly to help steer our decision on this.”

There will of course be numerous implications both at grass roots level and competitive levels, but we feel they are manageable in advance of the upcoming season. The change will also affect the very successful and popular Maxifuel Super Sixes Championships – the Finals will still go ahead but as a five-a-side tournament. More information on adapting to the change will be released following further discussions with our sponsor and Sky Sports.

When more information and necessary detail is available as to how to proceed with the change, we will be in touch with all affected parties.

Outstanding 2013 Maxifuel Super Sixes fixtures

The Maxifuel Super Sixes Men’s and Women’s Division Two matches which were postponed in January 2013 due to bad weather will be played in December 2013. Matches in these Divisions will be played under the new rules. In addition the England Hockey Indoor Committee will consider the implications of the new rules on competition regulations, and teams participating in England Hockey’s domestic indoor hockey programme will be advised of any changes to the regulations.

England Hockey Board Media release



Karnataka CM gives Rs 1 lakh cheque to Ponnamma


BANGALORE: Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday handed over Rs one lakh cheque to MN Ponnamma, who was part of the bronze-medal winning Indian junior world hockey team in Moenchengladbach, Germany.

"I would like to congratulate Ponnamma for her achievement. The government will extend all support to her and hope she would one day play for the Indian senior team," Siddaramaiah told reporters after handing over the cash reward to Ponnamma at his official residence.

Ponnamma, who hails from Ponnampet town in Kodagu district, thanked Siddaramaiah for supporting her. "I was very happy when the chief minister promised to extend all support to me."

Ponnamma said she is focusing hard to come up with yet another sterling performance in next month's Asia Cup to be played in Malaysia.

Ponnamma, who is a defender, played in all the matches of the world junior hockey tournament and scored the all important third goal in the quarterfinal against Spain, which India won 4-2.

She said her good performance in the last year's nationals had earned her a place in the national team.

The Times of India