Tight budget put US women on the move at brekky

By Mike Barrington

The Four Nations Women's Hockey Tournament which ended in Whangarei on Sunday was a big success, particularly with the Black Sticks coming out on top of Argentina, the United States and Korea.

Hockey Northland chairman and Hockey NZ president Bill Shepherd said even the weather had behaved impeccably, with a shower 10 minutes before the tournament's end on Sunday the only dampener on play.

The Advocate had been told some members of the international teams were dissatisfied with their accommodation in Whangarei, but Mr Shepherd said he had heard no complaints apart from an Australian official saying the tournament should have had an electronic scoreboard and field clock.

"We are looking for someone with a cheque for about $12,000 to buy this equipment for us," he quipped.

Hockey NZ had booked the US, Korea and Argentina teams into the Kingsgate Hotel while the Black Sticks stayed at the Flames International Hotel at Onerahi.

But each morning the US team moved from the Kingsgate in Riverside Drive to the Settlers Hotel in nearby Hatea Drive for breakfast.

The American women had more than waistlines and muscle tone on their minds at mealtimes.

They also had to watch their team's budget, slimmed after their last placing among the 12 women's hockey teams competing in the London Olympics. According to the Kingsgate website, breakfasts start at $15, with a basic breakfast at Settlers for $9.50.

Hockey Northland CEO Grant McLeod said the reality of low funding for many international sports teams was that they had to work hard to keep costs down.

A Hockey NZ official, who asked not to be identified, said the four teams had been contacted after the Advocate inquiries began earlier yesterday, and all had said they were happy with their accommodation.

- Northern Advocate

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