Levin is hosting a major indoor hockey tournament this weekend, even though no home team has entered.
Of the 14 teams of six players entered — five players plus a goalie — coming from as far north as Taupō and as far south as Wellington, none are from the host region.
Despite boasting a venue perfect for indoor hockey — Horowhenua Events Centre — the sport has yet to take hold in Horowhenua.
Pool games for the under-18 tournament will be held on Saturday and finals matches on Sunday. The same venue held the New Zealand Masters indoor hockey tournament at the weekend, both men and women’s leagues.
Indoor hockey is a variant of “traditional” outdoor field hockey. The field of play is a hard surface in a sports hall or similar venue, with boards along the sidelines that prevent the ball from going out of play.
Horowhenua Events Centre is used for a variety of sports, including inline hockey, basketball, indoor netball, volleyball, gymnastics, karate, pickleball and jiu-jitsu.
Indoor hockey started in Germany during the 1950s, quickly spreading to other European nations. The first internationally recognised tournament matches of indoor hockey were played in 1972.
New Zealand entered the inaugural Indoor Hockey World Cup event in 2003, in Leipzig, Germany, while Kiwi teams competed at FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup events in South Africa earlier this year.
– Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ on Air