All the news for 19 May 2015
Greenshirts go down 4-0 to Korea
KARACHI: Pakistan’s hockey team lost its opening game of the four-match Test series against South Korea 4-0 in Seoul, Korea on Monday.
After beating their opponents twice in the recently concluded Four-Nation Hobart Challenge Cup in Australia, the Greenshirts meekly conceded one goal in each quarter.
Captain Muhammad Imran told The Express Tribune that the management is testing new combinations. “The best combination that works against Korea will be considered for the Olympic qualification round next month,” he said.
The tour is part of the Pakistan Hockey Federation’s preparatory programme for the qualification round. The team was earlier sent to Australia, where they stood second out of four nations – Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand and Korea.
“We have high hopes for the event in June and that is what we are aiming for,” added Imran. “Losing or winning in this tour does not matter much and won’t be detrimental to our confidence.”
The Express Tribune
USWNT Secures a Victory Against Ireland in First Test Match
LANCASTER, Pa. – After a weather delayed start, the U.S. Women’s National Team fought through rainy conditions to secure at 3-0 victory over Ireland in their first test match of the preparatory series.
“Playing a quality team like Ireland is really good practice for us,” said Craig Parnham, U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach. “Sometimes you have to deal with things like the weather when they are thrown at you. The conditions everywhere, are changeable, so it’s really good to come out and play after a rain delay. It’s all part of learning.”
With the first ten minutes of the first quarter generating even play, Team USA produced their first penalty corner of the game in the 12th minute. Julia Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.) found the back of the cage on a reverse deflection fed from the top to make the score, USA 1, IRL 0.
A quick start for the USWNT in the second quarter led to three penalty corners in a row. Ireland was quick to answer with a penalty corner of their own but the call was reversed after the play was reviewed and the ball hit an Irish foot inside the circle.
Ireland grabbed their first true penalty corner of the game in the 25th minute of play. Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) had an excellent defensive fly to strip the ball which lead to an instant counter attack and Team USA’s fifth penalty corner. The USWNT’s energy continued as Kat Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) found the back of the cage off a hard shot from the top of the circle in the 28th minute of play to give USA a 2-0 lead.
Coming out of the whistle to start the third quarter, Ireland had a spark of attack but Team USA’s defense remained relentless and strong.
In the final quarter of play, Team USA grabbed another penalty corner. The Irish goalkeeper made two great saves but Sharkey capitalized on a rebounded ball that she put in the back of the net in the 47th minute to make the score USA 3, IRL 0. Ireland held the momentum for the remainder of the quarter but the USWNT’s defense was able to close on any scoring opportunity presented to secure the USA victory.
Join Team USA tomorrow at 6:30 PM EST as they continue their three game test series against Ireland at Spooky Nook Sports. Check out usafieldhockey.com for more information. #UN1TED
USFHA media release
UJ do the Hockey double
By Roland Shoeman
The University of Johannesburg are the undisputed Varsity Hockey champions after the ladies claimed the title with a 3-0 win over UFS-Kovsies in Bloemfontein on Monday.
The Johannesburg students emulated the feats of their male counterparts – who claimed the men’s title in 2014 – after ending their campaign with a strong performance to hand Kovsies their first and only defeat of the competition.
The match got off to a frenetic start with neither side being able to hold the ball long enough to launch a meaningful attack. Kovsies managed to secure a short corner with their first decent attack in the sixth minute. Captain Line Malan stepped up and riffled a shot in but found no glory as Nica Nel comfortably dealt with the attempt.
It was all the home side from that point as UJ were placed under all sorts of pressure but the visitors held their own and denied Kovsies any further shots at goal as the match remained goalless at the end of the first quarter.
With the powerplay active, Kovsies were awarded a short corner but Izelle Lategan’s effort rebounded off the upright three minutes into the quarter and they remained on the attack but UJ withstood the pressure and managed to survive the early onslaught. UJ were awarded a short corner in the 23rd minute but found no reward as Nicole Walraven managed to run down Lilian du Plessis’ shot at goal.
The visitors maintained their pressure on the home side for the remainder of the half and made their way into the Kovsies circle on numerous occasions but could not find that final touch to guide the ball home as the match remained deadlocked at the half-time interval.
UJ were awarded a short corner seconds after the resumption of play but were once again denied by Walraven which allowed Kovsies to launch an immediate counterattack but the UJ defence stood their ground and the attack came to nothing. The tense midfield battle continued for much of the quarter with both sides creating chances before UJ were awarded a short corner.
This time du Plessis was denied by a secular save by Kovsies’ goalkeeper but UJ would penetrate the home side’s fortress a few seconds later when du Plessis set off on a run down the baseline and placed a pass across the face of goal which was tapped in, to hand the visitors the all-important lead after 40 minutes.
Kovsies’ task became harder with 10 minutes remaining in the match when du Plessis finally found the backboard after she slotted home a perfectly placed drag flick to leave the Kovsies keeper flat-footed. Kovsies threw everything they had at the visitors but the Johannesburg ladies were having none of it and denied the home side with every circle entry.
The result was put to bed three minutes from full-time when UJ captain Kaila-Ron Flemming smashed home a fantastic reverse stick shot from the top of the circle to leave Kovsies’ keeper with no chance.
Kovsies could not launch a comeback as UJ avenged their 1-5 defeat earlier in the competition and claim the title of 2015 Varsity Hockey champions.
Mugg & Bean Star Save of the Match: Chloe Keeping (UJ)
Jet Striker of the Match: Kaila-Ron Flemming (UJ)
FNB Player of the Match: Kaila-Ron Flemming (UJ)
Varsity Sports media release
Police miss chance to move up
By BRIAN YONGA
Kenya Police’s Willis Simiyu dribbles past Samuel Mucheke of Greensharks during their national Premier League match at City Park on July 26, 2014. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Kenya Police missed the chance to move level on points with champions Butali Sugar Warriors after a shock 1-2 defeat away to Western Jaguars while Strathmore Scorpions moved top of the national women’s standings after the weekend round of Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) league matches.
Police could have moved joint top of the men’s standings but were undone by a determined Jaguars side that inflicted the law enforcers’ first defeat of the season and leave them in second place with 12 points three behind Warriors having played a game less than the champions whom they beat 2-1 last weekend.
The 2013 champions were punished for a sluggish start and failing to take their chances as the home team recorded their third win in four matches to move up to fourth place with nine points three behind the cops.
Police skipper Richard Birir was however adamant that the team will recover from the defeat adding that they are still in a good chance to reclaim the league crown.
“We’ll live to fight another day, Western Jaguars played well and we were a bit unlucky. However, we need to maintain our focus, we still have 23 matches left and we will come back stronger in our next game,” Birir said.
Two time champions Strathmore Gladiators failed to take advantage of Police’s defeat to move level on points with them after succumbing to a 0-2 defeat at the hands of Greensharks to remain in third place with nine points.
The win was the first for Sharks this season after five matches a result that pleased Coach Nixon Nyangaga whose team are among the favourites for the title. The win sees the team move into 10th place with five points four clear of the relegation zone.
“We have not had a good start this season despite playing well but I guess we are finally reaping the benefits of our hard work. We hope to build on this win and move up the log,” the coach told Daily Nation Sport.
United States International University of Africa (USIU–A) are the only unbeaten team in the league despite sitting in ninth place with five points, ten points behind the leaders. The university side recorded two draws at the weekend, 3-3 against Wazalendo on Saturday and dull goalless draw against Parkroad on Sunday.
In the women’s league, Strathmore moved two points clear at the top after 1-0 win over Sliders with Yvonne Karanja scoring the winner. The university side are on nine points, two ahead of champions Telkom Orange who have a game less and were not in action this weekend. Sliders remain in third place with three points.
Men’s World League squad
Experienced Kookaburras group aims for Olympic qualification
Fergus Kavanagh could be in line for his 200th cap
Kookaburras coach Graham Reid has named an experienced squad as Australia’s men’s team attempts to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games, admitting, “We’re approaching the World League Semi Final like we would an Olympics.”
Next month’s Fintro Hockey World League Semi Final in Antwerp, Belgium, comes with the incentive of a place at Rio 2016 if the Kookaburras can secure a top three finish in the ten team tournament.
Of the 18-man squad, 14 were World Cup winners just a year ago while 13 were part of the team that won Commonwealth Games gold last August.
18 year old Blake Govers is the exception
The exception is the inclusion of 18 year-old forward Blake Govers (pictured right), the brother of Olympic bronze medallist Kieran, who is selected following a series of impressive performances in Tasmania at the start of the month. The Wollongong youngster scored in each of his three appearances against Pakistan, Korea and New Zealand in Hobart to earn the call-up.
Jamie Dwyer will feature in Antwerp having recently become Australia’s most capped player ever, overtaking Jay Stacy’s record of 321 appearances at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia where the 36 year-old scored eight times.
Kieran Govers and Matthew Swann return from injury and duties in the Dutch Hoofdklasse league while Fergus Kavanagh also re-joins the group following a season in the Netherlands.
Four athletes could be in line for milestone appearances with Eddie Ockenden approaching 250 career matches, Fergus Kavanagh, 200, Kieran Govers, 100 and Tyler Lovell, 50.
Kookaburras Head Coach Graham Reid said, “Our main objective is to qualify for the Olympics. To do that, we’ve picked as strong a team as we could.
“Before our recent matches in Hobart we asked the guys to give us everything. What they showed was that we could have picked any combination of 18 from the group we had available.”
Commenting on Blake Govers’ inclusion, Reid said, “We brought him in for the Hobart games and he performed pretty well. He’s a class drag flicking option and we want to see how he will handle this level.”
The Kookaburras must finish in the top three of the ten team competition to earn Australia’s place at the Olympic Games in Rio. They will face India, Pakistan, France and Poland in Pool A before coming up against the likes of Belgium, Great Britain, Malaysia, Ireland and China in the latter stages.
On Australia’s opponents, Reid said, “We never go and play around with form so we’ll be trying to win our pool and qualify for the quarter finals, then the semi finals and the main match. India and Pakistan, and Belgium and England are the biggest threats. Belgium and England are both ‘top five’ ranked countries and India and Pakistan both made the medal matches at the Champions Trophy in December.
“France and Poland are the two unknowns. We’d expect France to be pretty difficult because most of their team from the 2013 Junior World Cup, where they finished second, will have advanced. Poland is a world class indoor team but is a team we don’t know particularly well so we’ll be trying to study them a bit.”
Glenn Turner, Jeremy Hayward, Joel Carroll and Tom Craig were unavailable for selection due to injury.
The Kookaburras will head to Europe on 9 June, playing two matches against Great Britain at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London and GB’s base at Bisham Abbey before heading to Antwerp for the World League.
Kookaburras Squad for Fintro Hockey World League Semi Final
Athlete (Hometown, State)
Daniel Beale (Brisbane, QLD)
Kiel Brown (Toowoomba, QLD)
Andrew Charter (Canberra, ACT)
Chris Ciriello (Melbourne, Victoria)
Tim Deavin (Launceston, Tasmania)
Jamie Dwyer (Rockhampton, QLD)
Matt Gohdes (Rockhampton, QLD)
Blake Govers (Wollongong, NSW)
Kieran Govers (Wollongong, NSW)
Fergus Kavanagh (Geraldton, WA)
Mark Knowles (Rockhampton, QLD)
Tyler Lovell (Perth, WA)
Eddie Ockenden (Hobart, TAS)
Simon Orchard (Maitland, NSW)
Matthew Swann (Mackay, QLD)
Jake Whetton (Brisbane, QLD)
Tristan White (Wollongong, NSW)
Aran Zalewski (Margaret River, WA)
Date - Time (local time / AEST) - Fixture
13 June - Test: Kookaburras v Great Britain, London
15 June - Test: Kookaburras v Great Britain, Bisham Abbey
21 June - 18:00hrs / 02:00hrs (+1) - World League: Kookaburras v France
24 June - 20:00hrs / 04:00hrs (+1) - World League: Kookaburras v Pakistan
26 June - 20:00hrs / 04:00hrs (+1) - World League: Kookaburras v Poland
28 June - 16:00hrs / 00:00hrs (+1) - World League: Kookaburras v India
1 July - TBC - World League: Quarter Final
3 July - TBC - World League: Semi Final / Classification
5 July - TBC - World League: Medal Matches / Classification
Hockey Australia media release
We want a Rio Games spot: Mathias Ahrens
NEW DELHI: "Four weeks are four weeks," Indian women's hockey team's new coach Mathias Ahrens said, referring to the preparation time before the team leaves for the FIH World League Semifinal in Antwerp, Belgium starting June 20.
"Every one knows I took the job at a very late stage and you cannot expect big wonders. On the ground, we work for it (to qualify for Rio Olympics) and will be going to the tournament to achieve it. But to promise that we will qualify after just five weeks of training will be tough," the 51-year-old German said. "In Rio, there are 11 spots and South Korea has already qualified. We want to get one of the slots. It's a big task but we will do everything to get this spot," he added.
India will take on hosts Belgium in the opener in Pool B, which includes New Zealand, Australia and Poland. Japan, the Netherlands, Azerbaijan, South Korea and Italy complete the Pool A lineup. India will need to finish among the top four teams to book a berth for Rio Games.
"We will play only two warm-up matches but we will build on what I saw in New Zealand and from that point I am quite confident. It's amazing to see how the girls connect on the field. They have the ability to penetrate the opponent's defence," Ahrens said.
Ranked 13 in the world, India held world No. 2 Australia (0-0) in the classification match and beat world No. 10 Japan 3-2 to finish seventh in the Hawke's Bay Cup last month.
Talking about the training, Ahrens said: "While we attack to our strength, we have to organize ourselves a bit better during counter-attacks. The focus has been on scoring. We have put in some alternative strategies in counter-attack.
"We have started working more intensely on penalty corners and have also identified constant change in rules -new long corner and around the 'D'."
The Times of India
Indian eves can qualify for Rio Games, says chief coach Ahrens
NEW DELHI: With the FIH World League semifinal just around the corner, Indian women's hockey team chief coach Mathias Ahrens on Monday exuded confidence of putting up a good show in the upcoming tournament, which is a qualifying event for next year's Rio Olympics.
Ahrens, who took over the reins of the Indian women's team earlier this month, said their eyes are firmly set on an Olympic berth going into the tournament.
"The team is up for the challenge and we can always qualify (for Rio Olympics). We will go to the tournament next month with all intent to qualify," the Canadian said.
"I am very confident of this team and our biggest challenge will be Belgium and it will be our first clash with them during the League. But I think we have a good chance against them."
Ahrens also spoke at length on the strengths of the team.
"The team as a unit play amazing hockey. It is really fantastic to see how we connect on the field and the girls have the ability to penetrate the defence of the opponents," he said.
"The team is quite young but we also have some experienced players. The tournament comes at the right time for the girls as they are keen to deliver. What impresses me about this team is their keenness to learn and apply," Ahrens added.
The FIH World League will be held at Antwerp, Belgium from June 20 to July 5.
The Times of India
Jackson joins GB contingent at Holcombe
Ashley Jackson has become the latest star player to join Holcombe hockey club, making the switch for the 2015/16 season from current English champions East Grinstead whom he has been associated with since 2003.
He joins the likes of GB stars Barry Middleton, George Pinner, Dan Fox, Nick Catlin and Iain Lewers at the Kent-based club who have been promoted to the English Premier League for the first time.
Speaking about the move, Jackson said: “As hard as this decision has been to make, I have taken the choice to move on from East Grinstead Hockey Club and take on a new challenge and add to my experience in the Netherlands with HGC, and in India with the Ranchi Rhinos / Rays.
“I have been a member of EGHC since 2003, playing in countless games since, both outdoors and indoors, making life long-friends throughout the journey.”
“I am looking forward to working with team-mates old and new at Holcombe HC, contributing to a new team in the Premier League whilst continuing my development as a player.”
Euro Hockey League media release
Stanzl set for OZ move; Dabanch to Leopold
Benjamin Stanzl will make an eye-catching move from 2014 EHL champions Harvestehuder THC to this year’s winners Oranje Zwart on a two-year deal that starts next season.
The Austrian playmaker was one of the stand-out players in HTHC’s brilliant debut run in the EHL and is looking forward to challenging for more major honours with OZ.
"I look forward to this extreme new challenge even if it is a bit of a journey into the unknown.But that makes the whole thing exciting," Stanzl said of the move.
There was interest in Stanzl from Rotterdam and HC Bloemendaal but he says that “Oranje Zwart is one of the best teams in the world.
“If you have the chance to play there, you have to take it. The aim is to play in the Netherlands for a long time.”
The Austrian captain will become the second player from the country to play in the Hoofdklasse, following Oliver Bele who had spells with Groningen – from 1996 to 1998 – and EMHC in the 2003/04 season.
Moving out of Oranje Zwart, in addition to Elliott van Strydonck, Royal Leopold have raided the Eindhoven-based club to land Spanish striker Gabriel Dabanch in the week after he scored the winning goal in the Hoofdklasse final.
It will be the 26-year-old’s second spell in Belgium having previously played with Antwerp in 2012/13.
Euro Hockey League media release
Auckland in control of Ramesh Patel Shield
Auckland have taken control of the Ramesh Patel Shield following the National Under 21 Tournament in Wellington.
The Ramesh Patel Shield recognises the best performing region over the three annual high performance tournaments – U21, U18 and the Ford National Hockey League.
Auckland jump to the top of the table on 38 points after the women defeated North Harbour 1-0 to win the Under 21 title, and the men finished runners up with Capital winning a tense shoot-out.
The next rounds of points are on the line at the National Under 18 Tournament at North Harbour from 5-11 June.
The overall winner will be awarded at the Ford National Hockey League prizegiving in September.
CLICK HERE to see the points table
Hockey New Zealand Media release
It's gold or nothing for Malaysian junior hockey team for SEA Games
By S. Ramaguru
Arulselvaraj (in black) is tasked to take the National Juniors team to glory at the Singapore SEA Games.
KUALA LUMPUR: The National Juniors have been told to bring back the SEA Games hockey gold medal at all costs.
Newly-elected Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal told the juniors of their mission after meeting them at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil Monday morning.
“Let’s face it – hockey is expected to deliver the gold at the Games in Singapore.
“I was briefed on the team’s progress and the team management are confident of delivering the gold. I’m pleased with the way the team is shaping up and I believe they know what needs to be done,” said Subahan.
With the senior team preparing for the World Hockey League Semi-Finals in Belgium from June 20-July 5, the MHC have entrusted the challenge at the Singapore Games from June 5-16 to the juniors.
The juniors is coached by A. Arulselvaraj and their other major assignment for this year is the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan from Nov 12-22. The tournament is a qualifier for the 2016 Junior World Cup Finals in India.
Subahan reiterated that the juniors would be given all the exposure needed before their assignments.
“The juniors are our future and we must ensure they’re well managed and given every help to succeed. My long term target is the 2020 Olympics and these players are the ones who will shoulder the burden when the time comes,” he added.
When asked whether the juniors would be fielded in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) in July, Subahan said: “This proposal is still very much in the pipeline. We’ll look at it at our next executive meeting on May 30 and then make a decision. We will ask the competitions committee to look into the proposal and see how to accommodate the team.”
The Star of Malaysia
No changes in Malasian hockey coaching structure
By S. Ramaguru
KUALA LUMPUR: It’s status quo for the men’s national hockey team’s coaching structure.
Tai Beng Hai will remain the head coach while Australian Neil Hawgood will stay on as a consultant for the World Hockey League Semi-Finals in Belgium from June 20-July 5.
Newly-elected Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal said it was the best decision considering the tournament is just one month away.
“I made the decision after consulting all the relevant parties, including the national players and the National Sports Council (NSC). Assistant coach Stephen van Huizen is now the team manager while Nor Saiful Zaini will come in to assist Beng Hai.
“Hawgood was brought in by the MHC in January as a consultant. As such I see no reason to make any changes for now. We just don’t have time for major changes. The whole coaching structure will only be reviewed after the World Hockey League Semi-Finals as part of our long-term plan,” he added.
Subahan said Beng Hai would be given the full mandate to select the players.
“I’ve no intention of interfering with the selection process of the team. The coach must be brave to make the decisions and back it up with reasons. I will look in to see how the team is progressing from time to time, but Beng Hai has the final say on team matters,” added Subahan who is also the chairman of the national team management committee.
He also stressed that the team management must deal with any discipline issues within the team.
The World Hockey League Semi-Finals is an Olympic qualifier with the top three teams qualifying for Rio de Janeiro next year.
Malaysia are in Group B with Belgium, Britain, China and Ireland. Group A has Australia, India, Pakistan, France and Poland.
The Star of Malaysia
Scottish junior internationals to take on Brazil
Scotland's young international hockey stars will be given the opportunity to test themselves against a touring Brazil side at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre on 19 & 21 May.
A Scotland U21/U18 select will take to the field, led by coach Stephen McCurry, and will face up to a Brazilian side who are embarking on a European tour as they build up to potential participation at next summer's Rio Olympic Games.
Indeed, the South Americans have already played a number of Scottish clubs, including Grange, Edinburgh University and a Hillhead/Uddingston select.
Scotland U21/U18 Squad
U18 / U21 Player, Club
Alex Morrison, Aberdeen Grammar FP
Andrew Webb, Gordonians
Chris McFadden, Clydesdale
Dean Barber, Clydesdale
Douglas Gourlay, Dunfermline Carnegie
Elliot Sandison, Dundee Wanderers
Fergus Sandison, Dundee Wanderers
Fabian Goldie, Western Wildcats
Joe Waterson, Inverleith
Joe McConnell, Western Wildcats
Luke Cranney, Western Wildcats
Murray McDiarmid, Western Wildcats
Patrick Christie, Inverleith
Rob Harwood, Western Wildcats
Ryan McCurry, Grange
Jock Breckenridge, Edinburgh University
Phil Bryans, University of Exeter
Jack Kinloch, Watsonians
19 May - Scotland U21/U18 Select v Brazil, 19.30, Glasgow National Hockey Centre
21 May - Scotland U21/U18 Select v Brazil, 19.30, Glasgow National Hockey Centre
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Head Coach of the Women's Brazilian Field Hockey National Team
Deadline: June 16, 2015
The Brazilian Field Hockey Federation is the national field and indoor hockey administrative entity and is responsible for the development of the sport in Brazil.
CBHG is also responsible for the organization and preparation of the Men's and Women's Field Hockey National Teams to play international competitions (Pan American Challenge, South American Championship, Pan American Cup and Hockey World League).
CBHG is seeking a well-organized and motivated professional, with extensive experience in training athletes and high level hockey teams, to fill the position of Head Coach of the Women's Hockey National Team that will play the Pan American Challenge in 2015.
The chosen professional will be required to form high-level hockey athletes, plan and conduct the training of the Women's National Team and lead the national team in the competition organized by the Pan American Hockey Federation (PAHF).
In addition to receiving a competitive salary, the Head Coach will have his expenses, during preparation and competition, covered by CBHG.
The performance of the professional will be evaluated by CBHG and will be taken into account for the selection of the professional who is going to be hired to lead the Women's National Team in future official competitions.
Download the Job description in full here
Pan American Hockey federation media release
Hockey for Heroes set for 33 charity games and a Three Peak Challenge over 10 days
The 26-strong squad aim to raise over £30,000 for Help for Heroes by playing more than three games of hockey per day
At the ready: hockey and climbing will form 10-day challenge Photo: HOCKEY FOR HEROES
A group of hockey players will embark on a gruelling 10-day challenge in aid of Help for Heroes this week, playing 33 games and completing the Three Peaks Challenge in the process.
The 26 players comprising the Hockey for Heroes squad will begin their quest on Thursday, easing themselves into the challenge with three consecutive games in Lancashire as they attempt to raise over £30,000 for charity.
The following day will pose a formidable test for the squad, not least when they climb the first of the three Peaks – Scafell Pike – and then play three games of hockey in the afternoon.
The following week sees the 26 players scale Snowdon before a trio of hockey matches at Deeside Ramblers. Their final day on May 30 will culminate with four matches in a row, starting against Liverpool Sefton.
The Hockey for Heroes squad have trained one weekend at a different club for the last six months to get ready for the challenge.
“Whilst all the games are friendlies and will be played in good spirit, the team expect them to be of a high standard and fiercely competitive,” said a Hockey for Heroes spokesperson.
“We are expecting nothing less from the proud tradition of Army, Navy and Air Force team sports as well as the 27 other club sides that the Hockey for Heroes side will take on.”
The challenge has the support of Gabby and Kenny Logan, Paula Radcliffe, Andy Halliday (England Hockey Men's Team manager) and a number of GB Hockey players, including Barry Middleton, Hollie Webb and Adam Dixon.
Help for Heroes has been involved with Sports Recovery since 2008, and in the past year alone have put on 350 events across 50 different sports enabling over 2,100 wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans to take part in adaptive sports.
For more information and ways to donate visit www.hockey4heroes.co.uk
Westminster Mile to feature British Olympic champions
This year's BUPA Westminster Mile will feature five British Olympic champions ©BUPA Westminster Mile
By Liam Morgan Monday,
Five British Olympic champions are due to run in the Olympians Mile at the BUPA Westminster Mile event this weekend, it has been announced.
The race, due to take place on Sunday (May 24), is set to feature Moscow 1980 figure skating gold medallist Robin Cousins, Sydney 2000 heptathlon champion Denise Lewis and three members of the British hockey team that won Olympic gold medals at Seoul 1988, Stephen Batchelor, Robert Clift and Richard Leman,
The five champions feature as part of a field of over 90 Olympians who will compete in their own separate race at the event, which will mark 30 years since Briton Steve Cram broke the mile record of 3min 46.32sec, set in Oslo in 1985.
“The mile holds a very special place in my heart and it’s wonderful to take part in this race alongside so many of my fellow Olympians on such a special day,” said Cram, the Los Angeles 1984 1500m silver medallist.
“I grew up immersed in the history of the mile with heroes like Sir Roger Bannister and those who broke the world record after him.
“The mile is the perfect distance for any age and any ability and Britain has an incredible tradition in this event.
“I’m looking forward to seeing thousands of runners, young and old, running the mile on Sunday (May 24)."
Sydney 2000 Olympic heptathlon champion Denise Lewis is one of the British gold medallists who will take part in the BUPA Westminster Mile ©Getty Images
As well as the Olympians Mile, which will feature the likes of Cram and other Olympic medallists, races for families, adults, female-only, veterans, juniors, elite athletes and senior and junior wheelchair athletes will also take place.
The men’s wheelchair race will once again pit British star David Weir against arch-rival Marcel Hug of Switzerland as both athletes bid to become the first to record a sub-three minute mile.
The official starting duties fall to 98-year-old Bill Lucas, Britain’s oldest living Olympian, who competed in the 5,000 metres event during the 1948 Games in London.
Outside of the races themselves, a vast array of entertainment will be on offer, including live music, yoga master classes and activities for children.
“It’s fantastic that so many of Britain’s great Olympians are coming together to run this mile,” said Joslyn Hoyte-Smith, chairman of the Olympians and event organiser.
“This is our first event involving Olympians from so many different sports who have participated in Games going back to 1948.”
The BUPA Westminster Mile was an event set up with the legacy of London 2012 in mind, and its first edition in 2013 attracted over 3,000 entrants.
Inside the Games
Hawke’s Bay Festival of Hockey wins award
Hawke's Bay organisation HBSEEC has won the Westpac Innovation in Sport and Recreation Award at the Hawke's Bay Sports Awards dinner held in Napier over the weekend.
The event management company won the award for the 2015 Festival of Hockey which was held in April and attracted eight of the world's best female teams to the region for the second consecutive year. The festival also included a national Affiliates Tournament and a school girls tournament called the Furnware Cup.
Other finalists in the awards category included 'Go 4 12' Youth Adventure Race Kiwi Adventure (BUAR), Adventure Sport Officials Development Programme (Basketball Hawke's Bay), Land Rover Cross Country Event Pro (Equestrian).
Hockey New Zealand Media release
Hockey Players to Benefit From Synthetic Pitch Innovation
TX HD™ the Latest in Artificial Turf Technology
Hockey players can now enjoy the latest innovation in the game’s sport-specific playing surfaces, with a new advancement in artificial turf technology.
TX HD™, the newest creation from synthetic yarn manufacturer, Bonar Yarns, is the next generation of ‘Knit de Knit’ (KdK) hockey fibre, incorporating specially curled yarns with a waxy surface that improve performance in both wet and dry conditions.
The yarn not only meets global standards, having achieved the FIH’s highest requirement, FIH Global Edition 2014, but it creates a consistent, uniform playing surface that lasts far longer than previous versions of KdK hockey products.
Key to TX HD™ is the increased durability it offers, ensuring that high wear areas can resist the additional strain, without detriment to the playing performance. Suitable for world class pitches, as well as all levels of clubs, universities and schools, the benefits of TX HD™ for players are numerous:
- TX HD™ yarn can be played on wet or dry, without affecting long term performance
- TX HD™ yarn ensures true ball roll, even over heavily used areas
- TX HD’s™ increases durability for longer pitch life
- TX HD™ is extremely soft, maximizing skin friendliness
- TX HD™ yarn is perfect for fully synthetic or sand dressed hockey systems
- TX HD™ yarn offers the perfect surface for fast hockey
Bryn Lee, Commercial Director at Bonar Yarns, said, “During the last few years KdK yarn has fallen from favour as the more durable texturised monofilament yarn became more popular. That is changing as the TX HD™ yarn is even more durable and offers a truer hockey surface far longer than any other yarn developed to date. KdK hockey pitches, always popular with players, are now back and thriving.”
TX HD™ yarn is the latest development specifically focussed on improving hockey systems. When used in dense constructions, pitches using TX HD ™ will play to FIH standards for longer than other fields, providing professional installation, the correct shock pad and adequate maintenance are all in place.
For more information on Bonar Yarns, please visit www.bonaryarns.com.
Bonar Yarns specializes in the manufacture of top-quality yarns for use in synthetic turf or woven carpet. Their goal is to advance the sector through their commitment to innovation, quality and customer service. Bonar Yarns supplies the world’s leading turf manufacturers.
Bonar Yarns media release