New Zealand has a diverse culture with players from many regions around the Pacific, writes Bill Tomkins.
The establishment of the New Zealand Heritage Hockey Trust seeks to support and expand the number of players involved in hockey from the various Pacific regions.
The concept of a women’s and men’s tournament over the Easter weekend for the second year has already shown success with high performance hockey being a feature.
Based on a player’s heritage four teams, New Zealand Māori, Pasifika, Indian and Barbarian, play in a round robin competition. Having no age restrictions sees rising youth talent playing alongside experienced players.
The women’s Barbarian side features young players such as New Zealand under-18 players Alysha Donavan and Emma Irwin. The Pasifika men’s team has experienced players such as current Fijian Nationals player Adrian Smith and ex-Black Stick Jan Peterson.
The flagship tournament is only one element of the work undertaken by the Trust.
Throughout the year they seek to improve the growth of hockey in schools and associations to increase the number of players with a heritage background. As well as support those players already established in clubs and striving for National Representation.
The whole concept has seen the support and growth of business groups throughout New Zealand. With this continued success and player growth Hockey New Zealand will reap the benefits in the near future.
More information on this initiative as well as full game replays here.