Indoor Hockey on the up in New Zealand

New Zealand’s Indoor Hockey programme has been earning its place in administration folklore over recent months. A men’s and women’s team attended the FIH sanctioned Sultan Nazrin Shah Cup Men’s International Indoor Hockey Tournament and Tuanku Zara Cup Women’s International Indoor Hockey Tournament in Malaysia. We also saw the first of three national events, The NZ Open took place in Levin, November, and is to be closely followed by a Master’s tournament and U18 Tournament at the same venue.  On top of that preparations are underway to send U21 National teams to the Australian champs in early January 2024.

 Both teams attending the Malaysia event showed improvement on their previous efforts at the world cup. The NZ Men’s team gained what is likely a NZ first for indoor securing a bronze medal after beating Australia 6-4 in a dramatic play off event as part of three consecutive wins at the tournament.  The men also gained the biggest winning margin at the event needing a 34-goal difference to qualify for 3rd and 4th playoff, beating Hong Kong 35-1 in a clinical display that also outlined the progress being made.

 A number of new players were added to the squads with former Black Stick Amy Robinson a notable newbie, adding to the growing depth across the Men’s and Women’s National Program. Malaysia also saw Future Black Sticks coach Jolene Casey from Otago join head coach Gaye Tarrant with the women’s team.  The men were joined by European Technical coach Alex Feustel who came across to support head coach Reiner Vellinga with the men. 

The Hockey NZ Indoor Hockey programme would like to thank those Associations and wider community who have been able to support the indoor format. Every effort is greatly appreciated and has contributed to enjoyable hockey experiences delivered over the past 12 months.

“The past year with NZ indoor hockey has been an amazing new international hockey experience. Indoor hockey is a very engaging and fast paced game making it a lot of fun to play and I was instantly hooked to play more and fortunately was able to participate in two international tournaments. Training and playing indoor hockey has definitely improved my outdoor hockey ability, from looking at ball movement and outletting from a different point of view, to the ability to get into good flat stick tackling positions and improving defensive footwork.” Isaac Houlbrooke (Player)

 

Posted on Sunday, 3 December, 2023 | Feature