Festival of Hockey: Koreans hope to scale peak

By Harrison Christian

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Local volunteer and Korean team liaison manager Annette Black with the Korean hockey team, here for the Hawke's Bay Festival of Hockey, at Unison Hockey Stadium, Regional Sports Park, Hastings. Photo/Paul Taylor
Local volunteer and Korean team liaison manager Annette Black with the Korean hockey team, here for the Hawke's Bay Festival of Hockey, at Unison Hockey Stadium, Regional Sports Park, Hastings. Photo/Paul Taylor

The Korean team is in town for the Hawke's Bay Festival of Hockey and a local volunteer plans to take them up Te Mata peak.

The team was due in the Bay yesterday morning but their flight was delayed due to fog which disrupted domestic flights in and out of Auckland airport. "Eventually they got a bus down instead," said Korean team liaison manager and Hawke's Bay local Annette Black.

"They got to see some of the countryside; they had never been out of Auckland."

Mrs Black was enjoying looking after the team as they settled into the Bay for the nine-day hockey festival.

They had begun training at the Unison Hockey stadium in Hastings.

"They found the turf a bit spongy," said Mrs Black.

"But they're getting used to it."

The Korean team was staying in Napier with the Chinese team.

Mrs Black planned to take the team up Te Mata peak if they could find the time. "Korea is a hilly country and many Koreans love hiking. I'm going to try to get them up there in between trainings and game time." Mrs Black also had "lots of other ideas".

Mrs Black did not speak Korean and had only been able to exchange "simple pleasantries" with some of the team members, but she was drawing on her experience as a volunteer at the Rugby World Cup and as manager of her daughter's hockey team.

Mrs Black and the team were looking forward to a civic welcome for hockey festival competitors at Sileni Estates tonight.

The Korean team played the Black Sticks women in two warm-up tests in Auckland and beat them both times.

The Hawke's Bay Festival of Hockey will see 65 games of hockey played throughout Hawke's Bay over nine days.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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