Bay backs Black Sticks on path to Rio

By Kaysha Brownlie

Add a comment

Hawke's Bay is backing the Black Sticks Women's and Men's hockey teams during their "quest to be the best" as they prepare for the Rio Olympic games.

Hockey New Zealand confirmed today that the region has been signed as a major sponsor of the teams for the second time.

Hawke's Bay Today will have their logo on goalkeeper Amelia Gibson's shirt while she plays during tomorrow's women's Champions Trophy games, which is broadcast live on SKY at 3am and replayed at 10.30am.

Nick Haig will also be wearing the logo during his games.

Other local businesses' names will be seen on player's shirts, showing the region's support for the national team.

The branding is part of a sponsorship deal forged in 2012 in the lead-up to the London Olympics. Its purpose was to help support the team financially and provide a strong backing from a passionate region.

The sponsorship deal is being led by locals Rod Miller and Bruce Mactaggart of the Hawkes Bay Sports Events and Education Consortium, which is formed by a group of business and community leaders who are committed to strengthening the region's principal partnership with the Black Sticks.

Mr Mactaggart said, to his knowledge, no other team in the world has the backing from a region as the Black Sticks do.

"Hockey is one of the biggest, most viewed sports in the world," he said, and it was exciting for the region to be presented as a "hockey hub".

This partnership extends on Hawke's Bay's progression as one of the country's hockey centres, at both a community and international level.

This was shown by the successful running of Hawke's Bay Festival of Hockey in April, which was organised by Hawkes Bay Sports Events and Education Consortium.

Mr Mactaggart said hockey was the fastest growing sport in primary schools, where one in four children at Te Mata School plays.

Signed for the Rio Olympic team, but currently injured, Emily Gaddum, visited the school yesterday and met with 130 keen hockey players.

Originally from Palmerston North, Mrs Gaddum married a Bay man and moved here three years ago. She said the region's support was helpful during the London Olympics, with all players "feeling the support".

"They love Hawke's Bay and feel the connection which is pretty special. I think there's a real passion for hockey and belief for the Black Sticks in Hawke's Bay."

Mrs Gaddum said she envisioned exciting times to come with the possibility of training camps and more tournaments lurking.

Hockey New Zealand interim chief executive officer Ian Francis said the sponsorship would give them much-needed additional support for the teams as they strive to win on the world stage.

"We are hugely appreciative to have Hawke's Bay with us again as principal partner of the Black Sticks Men and Women," he said.

"We see this as more than a one-off sponsorship. It's about building on a strong relationship between the Black Sticks and Hawke's Bay community."

Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas said it was a huge opportunity for the regional brand.

"It's an amazing marketing opportunity for us."

"There's such a strong bond now in Hawke's Bay, we are positioning ourselves for elite sport, particularly in hockey. We would definitely like that to continue."

- Hawkes Bay Today

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 08 Dec 2016 14:54:03 Processing Time: 589ms