Levin Thunder Inline Hockey Club has been awarded hosting rights for Inter-regional Championships 2018.

Club president Arden Phillips said the event will be hosted at the Horowhenua Event Centre, Levin from October 20 to 22.

"This is the first time in 23 years of inline hockey that a major event will be held in Levin. "For me as both Levin Thunder's president and player since I was 11 years old, it is a dream come true to see the event come to rural New Zealand. It gives Levin Thunder a chance to showcase our beautiful region and what our lovely town has to offer."

The competition is similar to rugby provincial championships. Local inline hockey clubs join forces within their specified regions.

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The Lower North Island spans from Napier across to Whanganui and down to Wellington, combining eight clubs as the Lower North Island All Stars.

The Central and Northern regions will also be competing with a total of 18 teams across six grades: U10, U12, U14, U16, Junior Women and Masters 35+.

"A lot of planning has gone into the event with over 250 competitors due to arrive in Levin for Labour Weekend. We expect to see a high level of hockey played as many athletes from most grades have represented New Zealand," Phillips said.

"That including Sammy Heyward from Levin who has been selected to represent Lower Levin club hosts regional inline hockey champsNorth Island in the U16 grade. Sammy recently returned from Italy, where she competed in the Inline Hockey World Championships for the U18 Junior Women New Zealand Team.

"Then there is Shawn Retter, a Levin Thunder senior player, who earlier in the year competed in Czech Republic while representing New Zealand Masters."

On the Sunday of that weekend Vision Hockey will sponsor a skills competition where we will put competitors' skills to the test and reward individual abilities.

Events will include Fastest Skater, Sniper Award, Top Goalie in a 12 and under, 16 and Under and Junior Women grades.

Some Levin Inline Hockey players who also represent New Zealand: Alyssa Smaling, Brooklyn Langdon-Poutoa, Amber Metcalfe, Sammy Heyward, Zyran Hirst.
Some Levin Inline Hockey players who also represent New Zealand: Alyssa Smaling, Brooklyn Langdon-Poutoa, Amber Metcalfe, Sammy Heyward, Zyran Hirst.

Team Vision members Sammy Heyward, Zy Hirst and Amber Metcalfe will be leading out the competition in all three events.

"Levin Thunder Inline Hockey Club is really excited about the event," he said.

"Anyone who wishes to come and watch is more than welcome with free admission for all."