Hockey New Zealand and HBSEEC are excited to announce the return of the Vantage Hawkes Bay Festival of Hockey this year.

Vantage Windows & Doors, who are the naming rights partner of the Vantage Black Sticks, have also extended their support for hockey as naming rights sponsor for the festival.

This will be the fourth year of the successful event which runs from 31st March - 9th April at the Hawkes Bay Regional Sports Park in Hastings and Park Island in Napier.

The 2017 Festival features 24 teams playing 76 games over 10 days, including the elite Hawkes Bay Cup which sees the Vantage Black Sticks Women (ranked fifth in the world) go to battle in a four nations against Australia (4th), USA (6th) and Japan (11th).

Hockey New Zealand CEO Ian Francis said it was exciting to once again have some of the worlds best womens teams take to the turf in Hawkes Bay.

"Its exciting to have this iconic international festival back this year. Its a tremendous event run by great people and we are looking forward to plenty of top class hockey," he said.

"Vantage is a very strong New Zealand brand and to have their support extended even further into hockey is fantastic."

APL CEO Craig Vincent was delighted to extend their partnership deeper into the sport of hockey.

"We are extremely proud of our connection with the Vantage Black Sticks and hockey around the country, and look forward to another great event."

Festival Event Director David Nancarrow is looking forward to another action packed Festival in the Hawkes Bay.

"Its fantastic to once again be welcoming back to Hawkes Bay some of the top womens hockey teams in the world to go up against our very own Vantage Black Sticks on home turf.

"In addition, this year sees an even stronger line up of teams competing in the Furnware Cup, its great to be able to provide an opportunity for these girls to play at a high level and to have the opportunity to witness elite international hockey at the same time."

As part of the Festival, the Hockey New Zealand Affiliates Tournament sees the addition of the NZ Universities teams as well as the NZ Indians to compete alongside NZ Maori, Hawkes Bay, Poverty Bay and the National Senior Tournament XI.

The Furnware Cup is back with a number of the top ranked girls schools from around the North Island participating in Diocesan Auckland, Iona College, Napier GHS, Palmerston North GHS, Hamilton GHS, Woodford House, Havelock North HS and Gisborne GHS.

Tickets will be available to the general public online from 9am this Wednesday or through the Festival of Hockey website (www.hockeyfestival.nz)


- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Hockey NZ