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News 07 April 2014

All the news for Monday 7 April 2014

Experienced side named for Champions Challenge

Black Sticks Men’s head coach Colin Batch has named a strong side to compete at the 2014 Champions Challenge in Kuantan, Malaysia later this month.

New Zealand is joined at the eight-team tournament by hosts Malaysia, Korea, Ireland, Japan, Canada, France and Poland.

The Champions Challenge doubles as a qualifier for the 2016 Champions Trophy with the winner earning an automatic berth.

The 18-man team includes plenty of experience with 11 players having amassed more than 100 international caps.

Captain Dean Couzins (currently on 298 caps) is set to become just the second Kiwi following Phil Burrows to play 300 tests for New Zealand.

Coach Batch said the team for this tournament has been selected based on two important outcomes.

“We’ve made our selections with the aim to do well at Champions Challenge, but also with an eye towards finding the best combinations for the World Cup,” Batch said.

“We play Ireland first which will be an extremely difficult game. They’ve shown they can provide shocks so that’s a tough game first up.

“Also Japan, who we have played three times recently, are in our pool along with Poland who are a bit of a surprise package."

Each team will play the other three sides in their pool before a sudden death crossover quarter final.

Before Champions Challenge, the Black Sticks play Australia in two tests in Perth. The time zone will be the same as Malaysia which will help the team acclimatise ahead of the tournament.

The Champions Challenge serves as important preparation ahead of the Hockey World Cup which runs from 31 May – 15 June in The Hague, Netherlands.

Champions Challenge, Malaysia
26 April – 4 May











Marcus CHILD
















North Harbour



























































Alex SHAW 










Hockey New Zealand Media release

Beeston crowned Champions after dramatic win

East Grinstead vs Beeston

It was an epic final day in the NOW: Pensions Men’s Finals as Beeston defended their title against East Grinstead with a thrilling penalty shoot-out victory. Ben Arnold scored the winning penalty for the Bees as George Pinner, back in goal after seven weeks out through injury, made some fantastic saves to keep East Grinstead at bay.
Earlier in the day Surbiton beat Reading in another dramatic shoot-out to secure third and a place in Europe* next season.
In the NOW: Pensions Play-Off battle it was a day for Brooklands MU to remember as they secured a 3-1 victory over already promoted Southgate to join them in going back to the top flight next season.
East Grinstead 1 (1)
Andy Piper 12 (FG)

Beeston 1 (1)
Sam Ward 5 (PC)

(East Grinstead 1-3 Beeston in shoot out)
The final game started explosively, both sides pushing hard but it was Beeston who sealed the opening goal. A penalty corner in the first minute allowed Sam Ward to perform an impressive drag flick giving them a 1-0 lead over East Grinstead. Spurred on by their conceded goal, East Grinstead came back fighting, Tim Deakin in particular looked threatening to Beeston's defence. An impressive reverse stick strike from Andy Piper gave East Grinstead the equalising goal bringing the score to 1-1 at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter was hard fought by both sides, both desperate to take the lead but cautious not to concede another goal. Beeston’s George Pinner remained steadfast in goal, despite Mark Gleghorne’s best efforts and Beeston’s Adam Dixon and Ben Arnold looked strong on the counter attack. No further goals were scored in the second quarter, however, meaning the score remained 1-1 heading in to the half way break.

A strong reverse stick strike from Ashley Jackson almost put East Grinstead in the lead early on in the third quarter but a leaping Pinner denied the goal. Wesley Jackson looked to score also, but attempts failed to phase an experience Pinner. With little time left of the quarter, Beeston won themselves a penalty corner but a shot was aimed straight at the legs of East Grinstead goalkeeper Richard Potton. The score remained 1-1 coming in to the final quarter.

End to end play ensued in the final quarter, both teams desperate for the second goal. East Grinstead’s David Condon and Beeston’s Sam Ward both had shots on target but both Pinner and Potton refused to let up in goal. A goalless last quarter meant the final score was 1-1 and it was all to play for in the penalty shoot outs.

Pinner’s experience stood him in good stead only allowing East Grinstead’s Mark Gleghorne to slide one goal past him. Adam Dixon, Sam Ward and Ben Arnold all scored for Beeston, however, making the final shootout score 3-1 and Beeston were crowned Premiership champions for the 2nd year in a succession.

Ben Arnold, who scored the winning shuffle, said after the match "If I said I wasn't nervous, I'd be lying. We practiced shuffles on Thursday and I scored a couple, so I put my hand up to take one. I'm glad that George saved a few to take a bit of the pressure off me."

 Pinner added to this "I love a shoot out, the victory feels really sweet! East Grinstead finished top of the league but we managed to beat them twice during the season and we were determined to make it a third time tonight. We're delighted with the result."

Penalty shoot-out Information
East Grinstead     Beeston
Ashley Jackson = o     Harry Martin = o
Mark Gleghorne = x     Adam Dixon = x
Mark Pearn = o     Samuel Ward = x
Niall Stott = o     Ben Arnold = o
Luke Taylor     Oliver Willars

England Hockey Board Media release

Surbiton clinch third place over Reading

Reading vs Surbiton

Surbiton edged a win over hosts Reading in the third place match. With the score finishing 1-1 at full-time, a shoot-out was needed to decide the result. Heroics from David Kettle in the Surbiton goal gave them the victory.
The game started brightly for Reading, with Jonty Clarke putting away a loose ball to make it 1-0. Further chances came for them through penalty corners, and good efforts by Nick Catlin.
However, Surbiton were also creating chances of their own, and when they were awarded a penalty stroke following two penalty corners, Alan Forsyth stepped up to score and make it 1-1.
Both teams had further opportunities to score, including Tom Carson for Reading and Matt Daly for Surbiton. But Kettle and Reading's James Bailey both made fine saves to take the match to a shoot-out.
Michael Watt, Alan Forsyth and Chris Grassick all netted for Surbiton while England duo Catlin and Carson found the target for Reading. With Surbiton sitting 3-2 up, Jonty Clarke stepped up to take Reading's fifth and final penalty knowing he needed to score, but Kettle had other ideas and got down brilliantly to keep Clarke at bay with a fantastic stick save to secure his team third place and that vital *European spot.
Speaking after the match, jubilant Surbiton captain Ben Tibble commented “It was really, really good on the whole, we knew it would be a tough match, especially after going 1-0 down but we fought from the start. The support was brilliant too and it makes such a huge difference so that wasgreat!

Looking ahead to the EuroHockey league knockout 16 tournament in Eindhoven, Tibble added “they’ll definitely be tough but we’ve got a couple of weeks to train and we’re feeling confident.”

*Currently English clubs are given three EuroHockey League places each year, however the number of places is dependent on the results of this year's EuroHockey League Finals.
Surbiton 1 (1)
Alan Forsyth 23 (PS)
Reading 1 (1)
Jonty Clarke 3 (FG)
(Surbiton 3-2 Reading shoot-out)
Penalty shoot-out information
Surbiton     Reading
Ben Tibble = O     Nick Catlin = X
Michael Watts = X     Simon Mantell = O
Alan Forsyth = X     Chris Cargo = O
Chris Grassick = X     Tom Carson = X
Matt Daly = O     Jonty Clarke = O

England Hockey Board Media release

Brooklands MU secure promotion

Brooklands captain Pete Flanagan celebrates scoring his hat-trick and taking his team into the Premier Division at the NOW Pensions Men's Finals Weekend 2013-14

Brooklands MU secured their promotion to the top flight with a 3-1 over win over Southgate. The result sees both teams promoted to the NOW: Pensions Premier Division for the 2014/15 season.

Brooklands came into the game knowing that a draw would be enough to see them go up, and playing a team that had already booked their spot yesterday. And Brooklands came out the stronger side, keeping hold of the ball and creating the better chances. When they won their first penalty corner of the match, Peter Flanagan stepped up to drag-flick a shot low and wide of Chris Hibbert to make the score 1-2. Throughout the half, Aidan Khares and David Flanagan caused problems for the Southgate defence, again putting pressure on high up the pitch.

It was not all one-way traffic though, with Southgate keeping Chris Scott on his toes in the Brooklands goal, drawing some fine saves from the 'keeper. And early in the second half, Scott denied Rick Gay from a penalty corner.

But it was Brooklands who got on the scoresheet next through another Peter Flanagan penalty corner for a 2-0 lead. Rick Gay brought Southgate back into the game with a penalty corner, but Flanagan completed a hat-trick with a final penalty corner to take the score to 3-1.

Speaking after the game player/coach Chris Hibbert said, “I’ve been very pleased with the tournament. We probably didn’t play the best hockey in the three games as we did over the course of the league season. We were disappointed with some of the passages of play we put together today and on the whole we could have done a little bit better, but it is mentally tough to get motivated for a game after knowing we’ve already been promoted and it obviously was a huge game for Brooklands, so credit to them for the way they played.”

Hibbert added, "Having been at Southgate for 10 seasons it's now the third time I’ve been back up to the premier division with the club. This season has certainly been a massive high to get back up again in my final year. I've been so lucky to play with some fantastic players and coaches and it's been a brilliant experience.”

Southgate 1 (0)
Rick Gay 65 (PC)

Brooklands Manchester University 3 (1)
Peter Flanagan 13, 51, 69 (PC, PC, PC)

Cardiff and Met held most of the possession in the opening of the match so it came as no surprise when they scored the first goal. An initial strike from Daf Tomos was blocked but teammate Luke Hawker picked up the ball and slotted a reverse stick strike over the keeper giving them a 1-0 lead over Sheffield Hallam. Similar scenes were seen minutes later at the other end of the pitch, a reverse stick strike from Sheffield’s David Goodfield gave them the equaliser; 1-1. Sheffield were quick to score again; a goal from David Bond, assisted by Tom Barrat, gave them a 2-1 lead. Not to be outdone, Cardiff equalised through another on target shot from Luke Hawker, bringing the score to 2-2 coming in to the half time break.

Cardiff were quick to assert dominance in the second half, obtaining a penalty stroke in the first ten minutes which was slotted it in to the bottom right corner by Mark Whatling bringing the score to 3-2. Cardiff held on to possession, constantly hunting for the next goal which they were granted in the 60th minute. A second penalty stroke was converted by Mark Whatling giving them a further 4-2 lead over Sheffield. It was Rupert Shipperley who sealed the deal, increasing Cardiff’s lead to 5-2 in the 65th minute. Despite the best efforts of Christy Walkin and William Hearne, Sheffield were unable to score any further goals and were defeated 5-2 by a strong Cardiff side.

Speaking after the game, Cardiff Captain Lucas Eriksson said "The tournament has been tough, but every single game we've been there or thereabouts. It's a shame it took until the last game to finally put the performance in, but it's nice to end on a win. We've won the league two years in a row, and we've got to keep going and build on the experience we've had this weekend."

Sheffield Hallam 2 (2)
David Goodfield 18 (FG)
David Bond 29 (FG)

Cardiff and Met 5 (2)
Luke Hawker 13, 32 (FG, FG)
Mark Whatling 43, 60 (PS, PS)
Rupert Shipperley 65 (FG)

England Hockey Board Media release

Monkstown IHL 2014 Champions

Monkstown made it two years in a row in a repeat final when they secured the IHL victory with a 2-1 win over Banbridge this evening at Havelock Park.

The 0-0 deadlock was broken 24 seconds into the second half when Man of the Tournament Peter Caruth conveted after an excellent pass from Kyle Good.

Monkstown held the lead for 15 minutes until Johnny McKee equalised after a lovely flowing team move started by international Eugene Magee.

But it was Caruth once again on hand with 13 minutes to spare who put his side into the lead once again but a fighting Banbridge fought right to the end - even with a penalty corner on the hooter but the ball flew high and Monkstown secured the title.

Monkstown 2 Peter Caruth x 2;
Banbridge 1 Johnny McKee

Irish Hockey Association media release

UCD IHL Champions

In a match that went all the way it was the college side who won out finally to win the IHL for 2014 penalty shoot out style.

Railway opened with great pace first chance coming from Emma Smyth quickly followed up by UCD's first chance in the 7th minute thanks to some great linking up between Emily Beatty & Anna O'Flanagan but it wasn't until the 9th minute when a chance was converted. Katie Mullan taking the honours putting her side one up.

Railway chased hard to half time creating good chances but a calm looking UCD dealt with the threat and they held onto their narrow lead at the half time break.

With 10 minutes to spare Kate Dillon made sure to push the game to extra time and silver goal when she fired her effort home.

Despite corners in the extra time still the sides could not be separated and the penalty shoot out ensued.

UCD missed the first two penalty shoot outs but some great saves from Ellis in goals from UCD kept her side in the game and the college students held their nerves to win 2-1 in the penalty shoot out.

UCD (Katie Mullan)
Railway Union (Kate Dillon)

Irish Hockey Association media release

Dominant Punjab puts it across Odisha, emerges champion

Simranjeet Singh of Punjab celebrates one of his two strikes in the final against Odisha. — PHOTO: M. VEDHAN

Punjab, in keeping with its reputation, produced a dominant performance to put it across Odisha 6-2 in the final of the Hockey India-fourth junior National men’s championship at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium here on Sunday.

The crowd cheered nearly every attacking move by Odisha, the underdog, but there was no stopping Punjab from clinching a hat-trick of titles.

After Punjab scored in the very first minute through a penalty corner conversion by Harjeet Singh, Haryana got a chance to equalise.

However, Dipsan Tirkey missed a penalty stroke with goalkeeper Jugraj Singh judging the striker’s shot correctly.

Punjab consolidated its lead, thanks to some fine work on the left by Harmanpreet Singh, who dribbled the ball from the half-line and relayed it to Baljeet Singh. The latter promptly passed it to Simranjeet Singh, who scooped it home.

With five minutes remaining for the first session, Sunil Ekka reduced the margin when he drilled home past Punjab custodian Jugraj.

Jarmanpreet shines

With right-half Jarmanpreet Singh working well on the flanks, the forwards had enough scoring opportunities and the Odisha defence was kept busy in the second half too.

Baljinder Singh was quick to latch on to a rebound off the goalkeeper’s pads to make it 3-1. Possessing a clutch of young and enterprising players, Odisha put up a brave fight till the early part of the second session when Joseph Toppo’s excellent deflection off a long pass found the target.

Encouraged by the goal, Odisha attacked with vigour and came close to scoring on quite a few occasions. However, once Parvinder Singh deflected home off a cross from Simranjeet, Odisha started to lose steam. Punjab continued to score, with Ajit Pandit and Simranjeet (his second) completing the tally.

“We knew they were good in midfield and attack. Once we stopped the supply, they panicked,” said Avtar Singh, Punjab’s coach.

The results:

Final: Punjab 6 (Harjeet Singh, Simranjeet Singh 2, Baljinder Singh, Parvinder Singh, Ajit Pandit) bt Odisha 2 (Sunil Ekka, Joseph Toppo).

Third place play-off match: Haryana 7 (Mandeep Mor 3, Sahil Dabas, Santa Singh, Inderpal Singh, Manpreet) bt SAI 3 (Aji Ku Pandey, Navdeep Singh, Pawan Rajbhar).

The Hindu

Punjab boys win third Nationals title in a row

Chennai - Star-studded Punjab claimed the junior National hockey title with an overwhelming margin of 6-2 against a fighting Odisha in the final of the championship here today.

Starting aggressively, Punjab took the lead as Harjeet Singh converted a penalty corner in the very first minute and then Simranjeet Singh, who netted two goals in the win, scored the second goal in the ninth minute. In the 14th minute, Balvinder Singh made it 3-0.

The exchanges were on an even keel for another 20 minutes and Odisha were looking to reduce the margin. Eventually, Odisha were rewarded when Sunil Ekka, one of their star performers, capped an almost solo effort five minutes before the break (1-3). Maintaining the tempo, Odisha again reduced the margin (2-3) in the 44th minute through Jose Toppo.

Continuing their aggressive approach, Punjab were rewarded in the 57th minute when Parvinder Singh beat the Odisha goalkeeper and two minutes later, a wily Ajit Pandit came up with an opportunistic goal to increase the tally to 5-2. In the 67th minute, Simranjeet Singh made it 6-2.

In the third place match, Haryana beat Sports authority of India 7-3 with the former's Mandeep More scoring three goals.


Final: Punjab bt Odisha 6-2; Hard line: Haryana bt Sports Authority Of India 7-3.

The Tribune

‘Our best performance in 3 years’

Indervir Grewal

Chandigarh - Punjab stamped their domination in hockey as they won the junior National Championship for a third time in row, and for the coach of the side it was their best performance in the last three years.

“The team played brilliant hockey this year. We were consistent throughout and for me it was our best performance,” Punjab coach Avtar Singh told The Tribune via telephone from Chennai.

Punjab beat Odisha, the team they had faced in the last two finals as well, today. Punjab had edged out Odisha 4-3 in Lucknow in 2012 to win the title, which they managed to defend last year with a tight 2-1 win in Sonepat.

But the margin was overwhelmingly in their favour this year, winning the final 6-2. Their domination could be gauged by their goal-scoring spree throughout the tournament. In the four matches they played, Punjab scored 31 goals, including nine in their 9-1 romping of Tamil Nadu in the league stage.

“We were missing Mandeep Singh, who is out with an injury. He would have added to our strength,” Avtar added.

However, as the results suggest, the team didn’t need the India striker.

Harjeet Singh, junior India team member, was adjudged the Player of the Tournament, while Jugraj Singh was named the Goalkeeper of the Tournament. Jugraj saved a crucial penalty stroke in the final. “The score was 1-0 and had they equalised, the match could have gone any way,” Avtar said.

Despite the two individual awards, Avtar said it was hard to set apart any one player. “It was a perfect team effort. My defenders, my half-line and my forwards played brilliantly. Every member performed his duty without fail. The key to our success was the consistency.”

This kind of dominance in the sport was not achieved overnight and Avtar said that it has taken years to reach this level. “It has taken seven years of hard work to reach this point,” said Avtar. “A comprehensive plan was put together in 2006, when Pargat Singh was the Director of sports. And the results are showing now.”

The Tribune

Injuries and what not hit Malaysia’s hockey prep

By S. Ramaguru

National hocket player Nabil Fiqri Mohamed Nor (left) is down with a calf injury and may be sidelined for a few days. - Filepic

KUALA LUMPUR: A delay in processing the leave for two players could see them miss the cut for the Champions Challenge I hockey tournament in Kuantan from April 26-May 4.

Kelvinder Singh and Hafifihafiz Hanafi were recalled to the national team last month but have yet to report for training as they have yet to get their leave matters sorted out.

The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) are now working on it and hope to clear the matter as soon as possible.

“Up to last week, they have yet to report for training. As such, I am unable to tell if they will feature in the Champions Challenge I. I need all the players to attend training and take part in the six friendlies with China from April 13-19,” said national coach K. Dharmaraj.

“I will select the players based on their performances in the friendlies. If the two players are unable to make it, then we will leave them out,” he added.

Kelvinder and Hafifihafiz were dropped from the team a year ago. Kelvinder had joined the police and had to undergo training while Hafifihafiz had undergone rehabilitation due to an injury.

But a spate of injuries and pullouts in the squad forced the national team management to recall the two players.

If Kelvinder and Hafifihafiz are unable to make the squad for the Champions Challenge I, their chances of making the World Cup squad will be rather slim.

Meanwhile, Ismail Abu has recovered from his injury and has been given the all-clear to start training.

Nabil Fiqri Mohamed Nor, however, has no such luck. He recovered from a knee problem only to be hit by a calf injury and is now undergoing rehabilitation.

“We are monitoring Nabil closely and hope it is not very serious. He could be back in training in a few days’ time. As for defender Mohamed Razie Rahim, he is still injured. He is expected to undergo a medical examination this week to see whether his shoulder injury has healed.

“We do not want to rush him as he is an important member of the team. The doctors will decide if he is fit enough to start training,” said Dhamaraj.

Razie dislocated his shoulder in February while playing in the Hockey India League.

After the Champions Challenge I, Dhamaraj’s team will turn their attention to the World Cup in The Hague, Holland, from May 30-June 15. Besides these two major meets, the team’s other major assignments this year are the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July and the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, in September.

The Star of Malaysia

Ask and you shall receive

The PJ Hockey Stadium in a dilapidated state. Khairy says his ministry is willing to provide assistance if asked by SHA.

PETALING JAYA — The ball is in the Selangor government’s court.

Selangor HA (SHA) have been struggling without a hockey pitch for the past 10 years. Efforts have been made to ensure the respective councils, PJ City Council and the Klang City Council, repair the facilities but it has fallen on deaf ears.

Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin insists his ministry was ready to help Selangor in any means possible but it must be initiated by the powers-that-be.

“The ministry’s position is simple considering the stadium comes under the purview of the City Council, which is under the watch of the state government.

If they (state government) request assistance, we are willing to lend a helping hand.

“However, no eff orts have been made so far. We can’t act until then,” said Khairy, after attending the Sportswriters Association of Malaysia awards ceremony yesterday.

SHA declared the Pandamaran Stadium unsafe in 2010, while the PJ Hockey Stadium was in no position to host tournaments after going 11 years without due maintenance.

Despite the difficulties, Selangor have done well in hockey.

The state have won the recently concluded National Under-16 boys tournament in Perlis, one of the many titles they have won over the past decade.

Supposedly the richest state in the country, Selangor are forced to travel to KL for training due to the lack of proper facilities.

SHA secretary P. Kuganeson said the matter was highlighted several years ago but nothing has been done.

“I don’t know why the state government and councils are sitting on it,” said Kuganeson.

“We met the state sports department in January and had prepared the documentation for stadium refurbishment by the end of that month.

But we were told on March 27 the proposal was still not tabled during the Selangor executive council meetings.”

“We are confi dent we will be able to refurbish each stadium for under RM3 million, which is a fraction of the funds allocated for football in the state,” Kuganeson added.

Malay Mail

Punching above their weight

Africa's top teams go to the Hague with high hopes

The South African hockey teams, both men's  and women's team, have been consistently in the FIH top 12 for the past few years. The nation's sports teams all faced a long climb back to the top when South Africa was allowed back onto the international scene following the end of apartheid in the early 1990s, but they had faced six years in the sporting wilderness since a boycott against them had been imposed in 1985. However, if there is one thing that South Africa is passionate about, it is sport and the South African players were soon back competing among the world's elite.

South Africa has consistently been the number one hockey nation in Africa. The men's team has won the African Cup of Nations every year since 1993 and both teams are ranked number one team in Africa.

The men go to the Rabobank Hockey World Cup ranked number 12, and new coach Fabian Gregory will be hoping that his team improves upon its recent performances in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup where they finished last. The women are ranked 11th and their performance in the forth-coming Champions Challenge in Glasgow will be an indicator of their form going into the World Cup.

As both teams demonstrated at the London Olympics, they are capable to punching above their weight.

FIH site

Playing for peace

While the competition will be intense, the Rabobank Hockey World Cup is also a chance for cultural understanding

(Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

When Australia face New Zealand or England face Germany at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup, years of sporting rivalry will have preceded the matches. But this is hockey, where the rivalry is good natured and the banter between both players and spectators will be lively but humorous.

The power of sport as a tool for bringing about social change, cultural understanding and peace between nations has long been understood by people within the sporting community. A core value at the heart of the Olympic Movement, symbolised by the release of doves at the opening ceremony, is peace among nations, but only in the past two years has a movement existed that is dedicated to celebrating the role of sport in promoting peace.

This is the second year that the world is celebrating The International Day of Sport for the Development of Peace (IDSDP) – a slightly unwieldy title for a worthy idea. The IDSDP is an initiative promoted by the United Nations’ (UN) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and it asks all sports organisations across the globe to recognise the power of sport in promoting peace and erasing cultural barriers worldwide.

The UN and the IOC nominated 6 April as the date that the International Day of Sport for the Development of Peace would be celebrated because it coincides with the day the first modern Olympic Games opened in Athens in 1906.

Like the IDSDP, the Olympic Games movement has a commitment to using sport as a tool for social change, seeing sporting events, such as the Hockey World Cup, the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games, as opportunities to bridge cultural understanding and improve education, health, economic and social development.

Fitri Saari, one of the Malaysian players who will be starring at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup in the Hague, certainly believes in the power of sport to do good. "Sport can bring a community together like nothing else," he said. When the national team is playing in an event such as the Hockey World Cup or an athlete is participating at the Olympics, then the whole country is united in a common bond."

And Ramon Alegre, who has represented Spain at three Olympic Games and has more than 240 caps for his country, is equally impressed by the importance of sport in people's lives. "When someone belongs to a team they learn many qualities. They learn self confidence, how to work as a team and how to motivate their team mates, but they also learn to be humble and respect each other… and to respect the opposition."

Fitri added: "Travelling and playing for your national team gives you the opportunity to experience what it is like to live in a different country and a different culture. That helps you understand the world a little better."

While the crowds of spectators at the Hockey World Cup will be passionately supporting their teams, the event is also a great showcase for the power of sport to bring people from all nationalities together in a happy, competitive but friendly environment.

FIH site

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