Plenty of progress at Nga Puna Wai

We are sure many saw the recent update in The Press on Nga Puna Wai. It was disappointing to have the headline refer to a $2 million shortfall for stage one as the project team is confident, through philanthropic and commercial efforts, that the additional funding will be found to enable all aspects of stage one to be completed successfully. The reality is the recent dry weather has really resulted in a huge amount of activity happening on the site. The project team are confident both our brand new water turfs will be ready no later than May, & possibly earlier, next year.

Because the completion date is not 100% certain, we have asked our Competitions Committee to plan the 2018 competitions structures based on our current facilities. When Nga Puna Wai comes on steam we will look to move competition games, club, school & representative practices & tournaments on to it in a managed way. We also think this will us to “Test Drive” all aspects of the new facility before really speeding off in 2019.

Regional Performance Centre Canterbury

This year is a game changer. Hockey Academy South is being rebranded into a formal partnership with Hockey New Zealand and the Regional Performance Centre Canterbury. (RPC Canterbury). RPC Canterbury is the only programme in the South Island to have a direct relationship and support from the Hockey NZ Black Sticks programme and coaches.

RPC Canterbury delivers the high performance programme to the Canterbury region. Hockey New Zealand invests directly into the regional development and training opportunities for players, coaches and officials.

The programme provides hockey coaching, skill development, strength and conditioning, player case management and specialist services for age group representatives, national age group and national players.

The program develops and supports players that are capable of performing at the national league level, national age group level and enhances the performance of representative teams at the regional level and ultimately produce and support world class Black Sticks players, coaches and officials and nationally identified players living in the Canterbury Region.

Chris Leslie is the RPC Canterbury High Performance Manager (HPM). Chris coordinates and administers the programme. RPC Canterbury uses the Black Sticks providers – High Performance Sport New Zealand to deliver sport science support in line with Hockey New Zealand’s high performance programmes.

The hockey component of the programme is administrated and delivered by the HPM with the assistance of Canterbury’s top high performance coaches with specialist coaches also providing support.

Currently there are 77 players registered in the programme. They include representative players from U18 to National League. Benefits of the programme can include gym membership, strength and conditioning support, sports science workshops, hockey skills coaching and player case management.

World League Final

The Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Women’s final is being hosted by North Harbour Hockey from 17-26 November. The tournament includes the Black Sticks, Netherlands, Argentina, Germany, USA, Korea, England and China.

The final is the culmination of four competition rounds played over two years, giving nations from all over the world a chance to compete for the overall championship.

As the host the Black Sticks gain automatic qualification (despite also qualifying outright), while the other seven countrys have been determined by results at this years Hockey World League Semi Finals in Brussels and Johannesburg.

The Black Sticks are joined in Pool A by seven-time World Cup winners Netherlands, USA (world ranking 4th) and Korea (world ranking 9th).

Defending Hockey World League champions Argentina contest Pool B alongside Rio Olympic gold medalists England, Germany (Rio bronze medalists) and China (world ranking 8th)

Canterbury Regional Performance Centre Manager, Chris Leslie, is on the management team in a role as one of the assistant coaches. Leslie said he feels extremely privileged to be able to continue in his role with the team. A role he has performed since 1999. It’s fantastic for New Zealand to be able to host a tournament of this calibre and give the New Zealand public the opportunity to witness some of the worlds best hockey nations in action.