FESTIVAL OF HOCKEY EXPANDS IN 2015
The 2015 Hawke’s Bay Festival of Hockey will see 80 games of hockey played over 13 days with 28 teams participating at venues in Hastings and Napier. The event organiser, HBSEEC, today announced that the dates for this year’s Festival would be April 7 to 19 with games being hosted at both the Regional Sports Park in Hastings and Park Island in Napier.
The elite level Hawke’s Bay Cup is expanded to eight teams this year with seven of the World’s top 10 women’s teams already confirmed [ the eighth team will be announced shortly].
The seven confirmed teams attending are:
In a further development, Hong Kong will field both a men’s and women’s team in the Affiliates section of the 2015 Festival. This section of the Festival celebrates some of the best hockey in New Zealand with Hawke’s Bay men’s and women’s representative teams playing host to some of the leading national teams including New Zealand Maori, New Zealand Indian, New Zealand Seniors and New Zealand Universities.
The Festival once again incorporates an invitational under 17 secondary school girls tournament – the Furnware Cup – which has also been expanded to eight teams with the inclusion of teams from Wanganui Collegiate and St Peters, Cambridge in addition to last year’s participants who are all returning – Gisborne Girls High School, Havelock North High School, Iona College, Taradale High School and Woodford College.
In a further initiative the 2015 Festival of Hockey will introduce a new award for players participating in the elite Hawkes Bay Cup – the Robyn Mactaggart Medal. This medal is named in memory of the late Robyn Mactaggart who was a passionate supporter of hockey in Hawkes Bay and who had coached both school and junior representative teams in the Bay. The Robyn Mactaggart Medal will be awarded to the player adjudged the Best and Fairest player of the international division of the tournament.
The Festival of Hockey is also today launching a new website which contains comprehensive information about all elements of the Festival and participating teams. The website is at www.hockeyfestival.nz .
Both reserved seating and general admission tickets for the Festival will go on-sale at 9am on Thursday January 22 and will be available through the website, www.hockeyfestival.co.nz . Preregistration for tickets is also available through that site.
Hastings Mayor, Lawrence Yule, today said: “This is a fantastic advancement for Hawke’s Bay’s only truly international multi-year sporting event. The joint participation of HBSEEC, Hockey New Zealand, Hawke’s Bay Hockey and the Regional Sports Park show what vision and determination can deliver. It’s a superb outcome.”
Malcolm Harris, CEO of Hockey New Zealand was in Hawkes Bay to launch the Festival today and he commented: “It’s great to have so many of the world’s best nations here in Hawke’s Bay – it will once again be a spectacular event to attend.”
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