The FIH Pro League launched in early 2019 and was designed to be a revolutionary league that would take international hockey to the next level. The global competition would see nine of the top Women’s Hockey Nations and eight of the top Men’s Hockey Nations from around the world take part in a home and away league.
New Zealand were one of the earliest hosts for the Pro League matches and the league went to Christchurch and North Harbour to host the Black Sticks home matches for the 2019 competition. While this event was hugely successful it couldn’t have happened without the help of our wonderful volunteers. In total Hockey New Zealand had 148 volunteers throughout the FIH Pro League. This was made up of 43 at Christchurch and 105 at North Harbour. These people took on a range of tasks from parking coordinators to seat ushers to team liaisons. These incredible people allowed the FIH Pro League New Zealand presented by Sentinel Homes to become a World Class event. Volunteers like this over the years have helped to increase the average number of spectators attending international hockey matches in New Zealand from 400 spectators to over 2,300 for the FIH Pro League.
Hockey New Zealand Events Manager Richard Palmer said of the volunteer help “Volunteers are vital to the success of events such as Pro League. They provide manpower for parking, ticket checking and scanning, gate control, ushering, dugout duties, activation assistance, team liaison and in other areas as required. More importantly they are the face of an event and the first point of contact for the teams and the public. The manner in which our volunteers interface with people is friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and caring and enhances the event experience of all who attend. Some of the tasks they undertake involve spending significant amounts of time standing or sitting in the same place and this is done willingly and effectively.
Without volunteers of this calibre it would be more difficult to run large events and would lack the genuine feelings outlined above amongst other things”.
Rod Templeton from Canterbury Hockey understands the important role that volunteers play in the running of an Association and big events like the FIH Pro League. “Without quality volunteers we cannot deliver our sport. Volunteers give up their time which often comes at the expense of their work and family demands. Volunteers in our community get stuck in with our clubs and schools as well as on our advisory committees, our governance and representative programs.
For us to be able to bring international hockey back to Christchurch and deliver a World Class Event on our brand new World Class Facility at Ngā Puna Wai, was only possible because of our team of volunteers. They approached their duties with a sense of fun as well as responsibility resulting in a great experience for everyone.”
The 2019 National Volunteer Week runs from June 16-22 to celebrate the collective contribution of the 1.2 million volunteers who enrich New Zealand every year. We have hundreds of volunteers throughout the hockey community from those that help out at events to the many volunteer umpires, coaches, managers, administrators and board members. We appreciate everything that they do to make Hockey the sport that it is in New Zealand.
Check out our National Volunteer Week competition: WIN a $500 Kookaburra voucher for a deserving volunteer!