News for 29 October 2013

All the news for Tuesday 29 October 2013

Black Sticks to meet Australia early

By Daniel Richardson

Stacey Michelsen of the New Zealand Black Sticks.

In an ideal world, the women's Black Sticks would have played a couple of games before meeting Australia in this week's Oceania Cup in Stratford.

But the drawmaster has delivered no favours to Mark Hager's side, who will open the five-day tournament by playing their transtasman rivals tomorrow afternoon at the TET MultiSports Centre.

The four-team Oceania Cup also features world No 60 Papua New Guinea and world No 61 Samoa, alongside New Zealand and Australia.

The Pacific Island teams won't offer a stern challenge to the Black Sticks or Hockeyroos but Hager said it was important they were given the opportunity to compete.

"You still try and work on your set plays and your structures and we still try and get those all in place. We still want to play well,'' Hager said in regards to meeting weaker opposition.

"I think the big one for me is we have a role to play in Oceania to help teams like Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Fiji improve because the better they get, the stronger Oceania becomes as well.''

New Zealand, ranked third in the world, haven't played since round three of the World League in Rotterdam in June where they secured qualification for the finals.

As for meeting world No 6 Australia first up this week, Hager wasn't too bothered.

"At some stage we had to play them, whether it was first, second or third then the final. It doesn't really matter,'' Hager said.

"It's always an exciting challenge between the two teams because they're so close. If you look at the history, we win one, they win on and then we win and then they win. So it's been going in that cycle over the past couple of years.''

The Black Sticks endured a couple of late withdrawals to their squad yesterday (mon), with Pippa Hayward ruled out with a quad injury, while Aniwaka Roberts has been unwell recently and hasn't come right.

Hayward has been replaced by Cantabrian Olivia Merry, while 22-year-old Aucklander Danielle Jones will come in for Roberts.

Hager has picked three debutantes for his squad with Midlands defender Brooke Neal, Auckland defender Liz Thompson and Canterbury striker Sophie Cocks all set to earn their first international caps this week.

As New Zealand builds towards next month's World League Final in Argentina, Hager said the Oceania Cup served as a good time to work a few newcomers in.

"The thing is the debutantes deserve their positions,'' Hager said. "It's not that they haven't deserved to be here. At the moment they're the ones that have performed the best during the National Hockey League and during our trainings over the last month.''

After meeting Australia tomorrow, New Zealand play PNG on Thursday before a rest day on Friday. The Black Sticks then meet Samoa on Saturday with the finals to be played on Sunday.

The men's tournament runs concurrently.

The New Zealand Herald

Hockeyroos legend Powell enjoying life on the sidelines

Steve Jaspan reports on Katrina's transition from on-field icon to coach and mentor

Katrina Powell (Photo: FIH / Grant Treeby)

So, what do you do next in hockey when you have won just about every major tournament as a player?  That was the dilemma faced by Legendary Australian international Katrina Powell, who was a central figure in the all-conquering Hockeyroos team that dominated women's hockey for the best part of a decade.

Steve Jaspan, Chairman of the FIH High Performance and Coaching Advisory Panel, recently chatted with Katrina and brings us fully up to speed on her remarkable transition from iconic star of the field to coach and mentor for the next generation of superstars. So, what do you do next in hockey when you have won just about every major tournament as a player?  That was the dilemma faced by Legendary Australian international Katrina Powell, who was a central figure in the all-conquering Hockeyroos team that dominated women's hockey for the best part of a decade.

So, what do you do next in hockey when you have won just about every major tournament as a player?  That was the dilemma faced by Legendary Australian international Katrina Powell, who was a central figure in the all-conquering Hockeyroos team that dominated women's hockey for the best part of a decade.

Steve Jaspan, Chairman of the FIH High Performance and Coaching Advisory Panel, recently chatted with Katrina and brings us fully up to speed on her remarkable transition from iconic star of the field to coach and mentor for the next generation of superstars. 

Katrina Powell played for the Hockeyroos during their golden age, representing Australia 252 times and scoring a whopping 141 goals between 1994 and 2004.  Her display cabinet contains two Olympic Gold medals, one World Cup Gold, one Commonwealth Games Gold and three Champions Trophy Gold medals plus a handful of silvers.  She has travelled the world playing hockey, proudly representing one of the great sporting nations.

After retiring in 2004 she was itching to get her teeth into coaching. She took a two year coaching scholarship with the Australian Institute of Sport before becoming National Junior Women’s Coach in 2007 and coaching the Aussie team at the Junior World Cup.  She is currently Head Coach, Women’s Hockey at the New South Wales Institute of Sport.

When I asked Katrina what enticed her into coaching she replied: “When I finished playing I felt I had something to offer those coming after me and I wanted other young women to experience what I had at the highest level.  Not just medals and success but also self-confidence, life skills and the wonderful experience of playing in top world competitions”.  Katrina, however, found that going straight into coaching after being a player was a massive challenge.  Notwithstanding having captained the Hockeyroos she found that she was coaching players whom she had played with and had to find a balance between the demands of coaching and friendships.

The challenge of seeing players and teams enhance their skills and lift their performances is something that has given her enormous satisfaction. She concedes that playing in the golden age of Australian women’s hockey under fabulously successful Master Coach, Ric Charlesworth, was a great inspiration.

But a career in coaching can be tough for women. When asked why she believed there are not more women coaching Women’s National Teams she points to the fact that many athletes retire and start families, only returning to hockey coaching much later. This is especially difficult with the game evolving so fast.  Travelling, massive time commitments and irregular hours can make this very difficult for female coaches to coach at the highest level.

She believes that women interested in high level coaching need greater support, including at home, and must be assisted when they are re-introduced to the coaching world at the appropriate stage of their lifestyle.

The massive contribution Katrina - affectionately known as Trini to her friends and team mates - has made as a player, coach and mentor provides a superb role model for the hockey family and sport at large.  It is also marvellous that a player with such an incredible CV wants to give back so much to hockey and the young players of today.   It also sends a salutary lesson about the enhanced support needed in one of the most demanding areas of our wonderful game.

FIH site

Oranje Zwart to host unique EHL KO16-Final Four

Following the completion of the superb Round 1 events in Barcelona (ESP) and Lille (FRA), the Euro Hockey League (EHL) and the European Hockey Federation (EHF) are delighted to announce Oranje Zwart MHC as the host club of a truly unique KO16-Final Four double event at Easter 2014.

Between Wednesday 16th and Monday 21st April 2014, the Eindhoven-based club will welcome 16 of Europe’s finest teams to their venue for a stunning six day knock-out tournament which will eventually lead to the crowning of the new European champions.

It is the first time in EHL history that the KO16 and Final Four events have merged, a decision which was taken to aid player preparations for the 2014 Hockey World Cup which takes place in The Hague later in the year.

The joint event promises to be a magical and memorable week in the history of the world’s greatest club competition, where some of the finest players on the planet will be giving it their all to win the much-coveted Alain Danet Trophy.

‘We are proud that Oranje Zwart and Eindhoven have been chosen to host the EHLKO16- Final Four’, said Oranje Zwart President Simon van den Boomen. ‘Eindhoven and the EHL both have always stood for innovation and I am convinced Oranje Zwart will host a memorable event in this tradition.’

‘Jons Hensel, President of the EHL: Oranje Zwart and Eindhoven have proven to be strong partners for hockey in the past. Simon and his team at Oranje Zwart are fully capable of hosting this inspiring tournament. I look forward to taking this event to the next level.’

Oranje Zwart are one of 16 qualifiers that will compete in this spectacular event, with compatriots H.C. Rotterdam and Kampong also ensuring that there will be a strong Dutch contingent. They will be joined by Reading HC (ENG), Rot-Weiss Köln (GER), Waterloo Ducks (BEL), Uhlenhorst Mülheim (GER), Harvestehuder THC (GER), Beeston HC (ENG), Real Club de Polo de Barcelona (ESP), Surbiton HC (ENG), Club de Campo de Madrid (ESP), KHC Dragons (BEL), WKS Grunwald Poznan (POL), RC Bruxelles (BEL) and St Germain HC (FRA).

All 16 clubs secured their place at KO16 thanks to top two finishes in their respective pools during October’s Round 1 tournaments in Barcelona and Lille.

Tickets for the event will go on sale in February, with full details being released by the Euro Hockey League as soon as they are available. For those of you who cannot make it in person, the Euro Hockey League will be live streaming all of the action so you will not miss a thing.

Euro Hockey League media release

Richard Mantell delivers for Reading

By Andrew Elliot

Richard Mantell scored two penalties in Sunday's game against Lille [PA]

READING’S men breathed a sigh of relief after joining Beeston and Surbiton in the last 16 of the Euro Hockey League.

After losing 4-1 to Rotterdam on Saturday, Reading had to beat Lille on Sunday to make it to the knockout stages for the seventh successive season.

But Richard Mantell settled their nerves with two penalty-corner drag-flicks and a late Tom Carson goal completed a 3-0 victory.

Beeston maintained their unbeaten record in the NOW: Pensions Premier Division with a 6-3 win over Hampstead & Westminster. But Surbiton had a weekend to forget, losing 5-1 to Canterbury in the league on Saturday and 4-0 to Cannock in the cup on Sunday.

Coach Todd Williams said: “Playing in Europe for the first time in 10 seasons has been a big distraction.”

Surbiton’s women were also beaten 2-1 by Canterbury, who are joint top with Reading.

Daily Express

Hillhead stay top after a last minute goal

Weekend round up

Aberdeen Asset Management Men’s National League Division 1

Hillhead stayed top of the league after a thrilling match against a spirited PSL Team Sport Clydesdale on Friday night by nicking a last minute goal to win 3-2 away from home. Keith Joss’ men are having a blinder of a start to the season with seven wins from eight games, while John McKnight’s side can count themselves unlucky not to secure a point from this match.

Glynhill Kelburne moved up to second after a comfortable 7-1 win over Inverleith and Grange are starting to pick up form after a slow start, climbing to fifth after a 2-0 win over Grove Menzieshill.

Western Wildcats secured a 4-2 win away to Dundee Wanderers; it was a tricky fixture but the Wildcats managed to leave Tayside with the all-important three points, positioning them third in the division.

Edinburgh University jumped up the table to seventh after a close 5-4 win over AAM Gordonians.

Aberdeen Asset Management Men’s National League Division 2

Watsonians top the table despite losing 3-2 to second place Uddingston in a nail-biting match on Saturday. Uddingston have a game in hand and are on their title rivals’ tails for that top spot. The Edinburgh based team played again on Sunday and secured three points with 1-0 win over Glasgow University.

University of St Andrews move up to fourth after a double weekend of wins for the east coast side. They had a close encounter with Erskine Stewart Melville FP where they won by one goal in a 3-2 win. On Sunday, they had a firm 4-1 win over struggling CALA Edinburgh.

Stepps are fifth in the table after a solid 4-0 away win over Glasgow University. Alpha Data Carnegie held third place Aberdeen GSFP to a 1-1 draw and mid table team Granite City Wanderers drew 1-1 with Falkirk GHG.

An exciting bottom of the table match between CALA Edinburgh and bottom of the league FMGM Monarchs who were both fighting for the points. The end result saw the capital outfit win 6-4, leaving FMGM Monarchs still sitting on one point.

Aberdeen Asset Management Men’s National League Division 3

Second place Perthshire had double figures in goals this weekend, after a 7-2 win over Giffnock at home followed by a 6-1 win over near bottom ADTI Aberdeen University.

Waverley Inveresk Trinity almost caused an upset over unbeaten 2020 Renewables Greenock but the table toppers stayed calm and edged a 3-2 win over the Bangholm outfit.

Ayr secured their first win of the season over Harris Academy FP with a close 4-3 win and Highland beat bottom side Stirling Wanderers 5-0.

Men’s Regional League Central Division 1

Inverleith II faced a shock defeat against lower placed team Glynhill Kelburne II as the Edinburgh team were defeated 8-3.

Grange II beat Edinburgh University II 3-1 which sees them with seven wins out of seven and holding on to that top spot.

Third place PSL Team Sport Clydesdale welcomed second place Hillhead, a match which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Struggling Western Wildcats II suffered a defeat from Grange III 3-1 and Stepps II beat Edinburgh University III 2-1 to move ahead of them and further away from the bottom.

Central Division 2

Rottenrow Blue Sox extended their league lead this weekend winning both of their matches. On Saturday they faced bottom side Livingston & West Lothain and won comfortably 10-3, then they faced Glasgow University II and won 8-2.

Glasgow University II got their first win of the season with a 4-2 away win against PSL Team Sport Clydesdale III.

Uddingston II were held to a 0-0 draw with mid table team GHK and Watsonians II won 2-1 over twelfth place CALA Edinburgh II.

Second place Anchor secured three points at home after a 3-1 win over East Kilbride and Clydeside welcomed Erskine Stewart Melville FP II but lost by one goal to the Inverleith based side 2-1.

North Division

AAM Gordonians II stay top of the table after a 4-2 away win over bottom side ADTI Aberdeen University II. Grove Menzieshill II travelled away to Granite City Wanderers II for a 5-3 win which sees them move up the table to second. Aberdeen GDFP III beat AAM Gordonians III 4-3.

Please visit our competitions section on the website for more information.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Grove Menzieshill remain unbeaten

Weekend Round-Up

Aberdeen Asset Management Women’s National League Division 1

Nine wins out of nine for Grove Menzieshill, after a close encounter with Edinburgh University this weekend as they secured three points with a 4-3 win at home.

Second place Milne Craig Clydesdale Western are close on their tails and have a game in hand; they won 7-0 against bottom side Grange EL.

GHK move to sixth in the division after 3-2 win over CALA Edinburgh. Dundee Wanderers who lay fourth in the table had a solid win over ninth place Watsonians 4-1. There was a mid-table battle between Glynhill Kelburne and Western Wildcats which saw the Paisley based side come back to win 2-1.

Aberdeen Asset Management Women’s National League Division 2

An exciting game was held between Hillhead and Glasgow University over the weekend. Hillhead went down to one defender and just the keeper to defend a short corner at one stage of the game, in which the keeper came running out and the defender saved it on the line. The final score being 2-1 to Hillhead in a great end to end match.

Third place Inverleith went away to struggling University of Dundee and secured three points with a 5-1 win. Erskine Stewart Melville FP played Haddington and beat the bottom team with ease 8-0.

There was a mid-table clash at the weekend when Granite City Wanderers welcomed Borders Fjordhus Reivers, the highland based team came away with the three points with a 2-1 win.

Aberdeen Asset Management Women’s National League Division 3

University of St Andrews remain unbeaten after a double win for the east coast side, a 3-0 win over Stirling University and a staggering 8-1 win over struggling Bon Accord MBC on Sunday.

Ayr drop down to fourth after drawing 1-1 with bottom side University of Strathclyde

ADTI Aberdeen University put in a strong performance to hold second place Waverley Inveresk Trinity to a 2-2 draw.

Stirling University played again on Sunday and won 4-1 away from home against fellow student based team University of Strathclyde.

Championship Leagues

West Division

Milne Craig Clydesdale Western II extended their unbeaten run after a solid 6-0 win over bottom Glynhill Kelburne II and Glasgow Accies drew 1-1 with Milne Craig Clydesdale Western III.

East Division

Edinburgh University II stretched their goal tally as well as their lead this weekend with a 10-0 win over Grange EL II. At the other end of the division, bottom Edinburgh University III lost 6-2 to Grove Menzieshill A and CALA Edinburgh won 1-0 over Watsonians A.

Please visit our competitions section on the website for more information.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Manpreet Singh will lead India at the ACT

s2h team

Rising star of Indian hockey Manpreet Singh will lead a young team for the 3rd Asian Champions Trophy to be held at Kakamigahara, Japan from 2-10 November 2013.

India is the runners-up as they lost to Pakistan 4-5 in the high voltage clash final of the 2nd Champions Trophy 2012. In 2011, India won the first edition of Asian Champions Trophy defeating Pakistan 4-2 via penalty shootout.

The other participating teams in the 2013 tournament are China, Japan, Malaysia, Oman and Pakistan. India will open its campaign against China on 2 November 2013 followed by matches against Japan, Oman, Pakistan and Malaysia on 3 November, 5 November, 7 November and 8 November 2013 respectively.

The 18 member squad will be captained by midfielder Manpreet Singh while midfielder Kothajit Singh will be the Vice-Captain.

1. Sushant Tirkey
2. Harjot Singh

3. Gurjinder Singh
4. Amit Rohidas 5. Surender Kumar
6. Sukhmanjit Singh
7. Pardeep Mor

8. Prabhdeep Singh
9. Manpreet Singh (Captain)
10. Satbir Singh
11. Harjeet Singh
12. Imran Khan
13. Kothajit Singh (Vice- Captain)

14. Malak Singh
15. Mandeep Singh
16. Talwinder Singh
17. Akashdeep Singh
18. Ramandeep Singh

1. Jagdeep Dayal– Goalkeeper
2. Gagandeep Singh- Defender
3. Jarmanpreet Singh- Defender
4. Lalit Upadhyay- Midfielder
5. Affan Yousuf- Forward
6. Amon Mirash Tirkey- Forward

According to a HI Press release, selectors B P Govinda, Dr. R P Singh and Arjun Halappa, . Roelant Oltmans(Director High Performance) and Gregg Clark, Coach of the Junior national Men's tea and Baljeet Singh Saini, asst. Coach Jr men's team alongwith Government Observer Harbinder Singh selected the list of 18 players with 6 standbys during the selection trials conducted at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi on 9-10 October 2013.

Sardara rested, Manpreet to lead India at Asian Hockey Champions Trophy

NEW DELHI: India skipper Sardara Singh has been rested for 3rd Asian Champions Trophy as Hockey India (HI) today announced a young 18-member squad, to be led by midfielder Manpreet Singh, for the tournament in Kakamigahara, Japan from November 2-10.

Manpreet led India admirably during the 3rd Sultan of Johor Cup and guided the junior team to victory in Ipoh.

The upcoming tournament will be good preparations for the Junior World Cup, scheduled in December and the squad includes 13 players from the side that won the colts' title recently.

Kothajit Singh has been named the vice-captain for the six-nation tournament that involves China, Japan, Malaysia, Oman and Pakistan.

India will open their campaign against China on November 2, followed by matches against Japan (Nov 3), Oman (Nov 5), Pakistan (Nov 7) and Malaysia (Nov 8).

India, who won the inaugural competition, finished the runners-up after losing to Pakistan 4-5 in the final in 2012.

HI selectors B P Govinda, R P Singh and Arjun Halappa, Roelant Oltmans, Director High Performance, Gregg Clark, foreign coach junior men team and Baljeet Singh Saini, coach junior men team alongwith government Observer Harbinder Singh selected the squad during the trials conducted at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here on October 9-10.

"The Asian Champions Trophy gives us an opportunity to allow our junior players to showcase their skills and gain experience in the international environment," HI Secretary General Narinder Batra said.

List of players: Goalkeepers: Sushant Tirkey, Harjot Singh; Defenders: Gurjinder Singh, Amit Rohidas, Surender Kumar, Sukhmanjit Singh, Pardeep Mor; Midfielders: Prabhdeep Singh, Manpreet Singh (Capt), Satbir Singh, Harjeet Singh, Imran Khan, Kothajit Singh (Vice-Capt); Forwards: Malak Singh, Mandeep Singh, Talwinder Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh.

Standbys: Jagdeep Dayal (Goalkeeper), Gagandeep Singh (Defender), Jarmanpreet Singh (Defender), Lalit Upadhyay (Midfielder), Affan Yousuf (Forward), Amon Mirash Tirkey (Forward).

The Times of India


Nehru finals rescheduled to fit live telecast

s2h Team

The 12-day hockey festival for budding hockey start ups, called Nehru Sub-Junior Hockey Cup, which involves Champion School team of each State, will come to a grand end tomorrow with the medal matches on the anvil.

However, the finals and semifinals will now be held 9 and 11 AM respectively, instead of original timing of evening, and these two matches, like today’s semifinals, will be telecast live on national broadcaster channel, DD News.

In addition, these matches will also be webcast in the official website of the Society (, a new thing this year.

It’s a commendable effort that the national telecaster is convinced of telecasting 'Live' of Sub-Junior semis and medal matches, even as it involved hefty pay out by the organizers.

“This is a pan Indian competition, teams from distant Mizoram in the North East, East (Jharkhand) and West (Punjab teams) are in the semis. Their action will be keenly watched across India. We don’t mind spending a fortune as a way of fee to the television. That’s why we agreed to change the schedule for tomorrow too”, said Society’s Secretary Kukoo Walia.

The Sub-Junior boys’ tournament started on 18th, with a record 32 teams in the fray. Out of which eight teams moved to super-league where four directly seeded teams joined.

Total prize money for the tournament is INR 2.28 Lacs.

Schedule for today and tomorrow
First semifinal: 15.00 hrs
Second Semifinal: 17.00 hrs

Bronze medal match: 9 hrs Final: 11 hrs

Malaysian Juniors start final phase before World Cup

by S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Juniors began their final phase of training for the Junior World Cup on Monday with all 25 trainees in attendance at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

The players have just over three weeks to push for a place in the final squad of 18 as the final selection date has been set for Nov 20.

National Juniors team manager Mirnawan Nawawi said that all the players in the squad turned up for training and this is the final phase before they pick the squad for New Delhi.

“The training will be confined to gym work and set plays on the turf. We have also arranged for a team-building session in Cherating, Pahang, from Nov 7-9.

“We will take all 25 players. These sessions are being organised by the National Sports Institute (NSI) and the National Sports Council (NSC),” he said.

“The sessions will involve mental training as well as lectures by relevant experts on what the players have to deal with during the Junior World Cup,” he added.

The tournament in New Delhi will be held from Dec 6-15 at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium.

The team recently went on a tour to New Delhi and played three matches with India at the same venue, losing all three.

Mirnawan aid it was a good experience for the players as they came to terms with the venue and pitch conditions and also had a look at the hotel where they will staying for the duration of the tournament.

“We are ensuring the team is well prepared for the challenges of the Junior World Cup. We are now in the final phase and all that remains is the final selection,” he added.

Besides their team-building exercise, the players will also have the help of Indian penalty corner expert Len Aiyyapa. He will be working with the team from Nov 13-23.

The team leaves for New Delhi on Dec 1.

They are expected to play a practice match with Germany on Dec 3.

Mirnawan said that they are also hoping to play a few matches with Egypt in Kuala Lumpur prior to that.

“The Egyptians are planning to set up a training camp here in KL before leaving for India. So, if that move materialises, we may be able to get two or three matches with them here. We are waiting for Egypt to confirm their schedule. If they do not come here, then we will just continue with our daily training sessions,” he said.

In the Junior World Cup, Malaysia are placed in Group D with New Zealand, South Africa and England. Malaysia qualified for India as the Junior Asia Cup champions.

The Star of Malaysia

US Mens National Team Athlete Grows Game in California

Taking full advantage of growing up in Moorpark, Cali, Kevin Barber had the unique opportunity to view, play and absorb international hockey competition from an early age. At the age of six, Barber picked up a stick for the first time and was hooked on the sport shortly thereafter. He participated in his first Cal Cup in the U9 Division, stunned to be competing against teams from throughout the world. From his earliest hockey days to making the National Team at the age of 17, Barber’s love for field hockey has continually grown and developed over the years.

At 22, Barber is now one of the more experienced athletes on the team and has taken his love for the sport to the youth of Chula Vista. In an effort to introduce the sport to younger athletes, he created Chula Vista Field Hockey, an elementary school program for boys and girls, in 2012. The program provides introductory field hockey lessons, progressive training and competitive opportunities.

USA Field Hockey: What inspired you to begin the Chula Vista Field Hockey program?
Ben Maruquin created a similar program in Ventura County called the Red Devils. Ben was my coach when I was younger, and as I got older, he allowed me go to elementary and middle schools to coach. Ben has built a strong community in that area and brought in a lot of new, strong players. He really mentored me into spreading the sport and growing the game. Eventually, I went to play abroad and would coach for my club in the evenings. It was the first time I was exposed to such a huge pool of talented young hockey players. I want to create something similar here. Sports can have an irreplaceable influence on a kid and I want to show them that field hockey is a real option too.

USA Field Hockey: How does the program work?
Three schools participate: Olympic View Elementary, Eastlake Elementary, and Discovery Charter Elementary. I basically begin by conducting a Physical Education class, where I take one or two classes out onto the blacktop each day to learn the fundamentals of field hockey. We play little games like Sharks and Minnows to keep it fun, but I also share the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, diet, hydration, and nutrition. It is a very positive program for the kids. They have the opportunity to sign up for the school team and continue to practice after school.

USA Field Hockey: How many athletes participate and is there any sort of culminating event?
Last year, I introduced the sport to about 1,000 kids. At the end of the program, there will be a youth tournament held at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center on December 6, so that they have something to aspire toward. Each school will have four teams, two U10 teams and two U12 teams for boys and girls. At the tournament they can register with our club and begin more focused development.

USA Field Hockey: How has coaching kids helped you as a player?
Watching kids who are trying something completely new and difficult, who get better over the course of an hour, and by the end they have a huge smile, are laughing and challenging themselves is really refreshing. Sometimes, with training every day, you can get bogged down or in a rut, but with the kids, you can see the excitement of them falling in love with the sport.

USA Field Hockey: Has anyone helped you out along the way to make the program a success?
Absolutely, there is no way I would have been able to do this on my own. Liz Tchou, Sport Development Senior Manager for USA Field Hockey, provided me with equipment and a grant to get off the ground through FUNdamental Field Hockey and the Grow the Game campaign. The staff, faculty and principals have been really amazing and supportive of allowing me to reach out to the kids. The staff at the Olympic Training Center has been very gracious about granting me field time. Finally, Chris Clements and Ben Maruquin have been totally supportive of me throughout the process and have helped out in a variety of ways.

For more information or ways to get involved, check out

USFHA media release

Coach shares knowledge

Arin Kumar

MASTER coach Dr Burt Bunnik is confident his one week in Fiji will equip national men's coach, Hector Smith with enough knowledge and skills to train the side better.

The former Netherlands coach is in the country on behalf of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to bring updated knowledge and training that is being used on the international scene.

"I want to make sure that Fiji gets more updated information about international competition," Dr Bunnik said.

"Also I hope to teach the modern ways of training that we are now using in Europe.

"I am looking forward to working with Hector (Smith) and give more information on physical work, skills and mental preparation."

Dr Bunnik has also been assistant coach of the Pakistan and Spain side at the past Olympic Games.

"I am now working with Brazil to help them prepare for the 2016 Olympic Games which they are hosting.

"He in Fiji I have only spend one day with the Fiji side (Saturday) and I have seen that dominant is the enthusiasm to play and the eagerness to improve."

Dr Bunnik leaves the country on Saturday.

Fiji Hockey Federation development officer Tai Smith said the opportunity to work with one of the best coaches in the world would help with the development of the sport in Fiji.

"He is here for a week and will conduct clinics with the local coaches and upskill them," she said.

"Also we will visiting school to conduct clinic with them to promote the sport in the country."

The Fiji Times