Hockey: Black Sticks add tournament to schedule

By David Leggat

Photo / Getty Images.
Photo / Getty Images.

New Zealand's women's hockey team have another tournament on their schedule as they prepare for next year's World Cup.

In April Hawkes Bay will host a high calibre round robin tournament involving the world No 3 Black Sticks along with top ranked nations Argentina (No 2), Australia (No 6), China (No 7) and Korea (No 8), plus one other nation still to be confirmed.

The event is expected to become an annual fixture on Hockey New Zealand's calendar. The inaugural tournament should also prove a a valuable addition for the women who are eyeing a strong performance at the World Cup in The Hague from May 31 and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July-August.

''We have seen a real growth in hockey over the last few years in the region," Hawkes Bay Regional Sports Park Trust chairman Lawrence Yule said.

''This turf will not only become the home of an amazing international event, it will also be a fantastic facility for the community."

HNZ's general manager of events Ian Francis said developing a successful annual event ''is a key part of Hockey New Zealand's strategic plan''.

Both the Black Sticks teams will compete at the World League finals in December-January.

The men are then lined up for the Champions Challenge tournament in Malaysia from April 26, but the women had a gap in their programme. Not any more.

- NZ Herald

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