Pinnacle youth competitions underway on Sunday

The Vantage National Under-18 Tournaments are underway on Sunday and will see the return of Association-based competitions for the first time in over a decade.

The National Under-18s, which run from Sunday until 17 July, are now the first age-group tournament opportunities for players, umpires, coaches and managers to perform on the national stage.

The National Under-18 Women’s Tournament will see 21 Association teams descend on the National Hockey Stadium in Wellington to compete for the Amanda Hooper Memorial Trophy – named after the former Black Stick who was tragically killed in the Christchurch earthquake.

The National Under-18 Men’s Tournament at Hamilton’s Gallagher Hockey Centre will feature 20 Association teams competing for the Paul Ackerley Memorial Trophy – named after the 1976 Olympic gold medallist and former Black Sticks women’s coach who passed away in 2011 after a short illness.

Hockey NZ General Manager Community Hockey and Events Ken Maplesden said it will be great to see our top youth players going head-to-head after last year’s representative tournaments were cancelled due to Covid-19.

“Our national under-18s are our pinnacle youth competitions as our best Association-based teams strive to be named national champions.

“The tournaments are a fabulous opportunity for players to stick their hands up on the national stage, and for our youth umpires to begin their pathways into elite umpiring.”

The draw for both tournaments is available here and for those who can’t make it to Wellington or Hamilton, results are available via Altiusrt here.

Posted on Wednesday, 7 July, 2021 | CommunityFeature