Solomon Islands
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Oceania Hockey Federation to Support Hockey Development Programs

Continental Development Manager (CDM) of Oceania Hockey Federation (OHF), Gill Gemming is currently in country to support the development program of ‘Hockey’.

As the Continental Development Manager (CDM), Ms Gemming will work with all the national Hockey Federations particularly in the Pacific Islands to improve their governance and capabilities.

This include working with players, Coaches and Umpires, and assist them providing resource so that they can really be on the quality of what they are doing.

“But on the whole, also to ensure that they really play safely and they enjoy what they are doing because I think with sport, there is always that competitive element and everyone wants to be representing their country. But in the end we want to enjoy what we are doing, because if we enjoy what we do, we will always want to keep playing the sport,” said Gemming.

“So that is one of my key roles and obviously on the Technical Delegate [TD] for the Pacific Games for Hockey.”

To add, CDM Gemming is in the country to also inspect the brand new Hockey 5s pitch beside the KG tracks site on which she has already done that last Friday morning, expressing being delighted with the quality of the pitch and its location.

CDM Gemming congratulates Solomon Islands for obtaining the Hockey 5s pitch.

“I think it will be a really big boost to Hockey, it will promote Hockey. Hockey 5s is a new format of the game, but it is exciting, it is fast as a lot of goals is scored, and the rules are very simple, easy to understand,” said Gemming.

“And, it is a good opportunity for new Umpires and Officials to get involved because the rules are very simple, so we are finding that it is an opportunity to develop those people as well.

“I think you are so fortunate to have this Hockey 5s pitch. It is the only one in the Pacific that we have. A dedicated Hockey 5s pitch, so congratulations to Solomon Islands for obtaining this.”

With their visit, the Oceania Hockey Federation CDM will be able to look at the current support from Solomon Islands National Institute of Sport (SINIS), especially the work that is being done at the High Performance Centre with the Solomon Islands athletes. Particularly the Hockey athletes.

“Three of them came to New Zealand in March and represented Solomon Islands really well. And, so it is important now to come and support the two national [Hockey] coaches, and also to look at where the teams [men and women] are in relation to the development and the preparation. I think the Solomon Islands teams are going to be strong contenders in this upcoming [July] tournament in the Gold Coast,” said Gemming.

“They are fit, committed and they are getting tremendous support from SINIS, and I have just had a meeting with the Executive Director [ED] Aaron Alsop and have acknowledged the work of his Staff in preparing athletes and their coaches as there has been a lot of support. And, that is a superb opportunity, for many Pacific Islanders do not have a High Performance Institute like Solomon Islands is so lucky to have.”

Also in the country speaking to SINIS MEDIA is David Peebles, the Secretary General of Oceania Hockey Federation (OHF), who on the Hockey 5s trip to the Gold Coast soon explained that this will be a qualification event for the ‘International Hockey Federation Hockey 5s World Cup’.

“And from this event, three teams from Oceania, men and women will end up going to the Hockey 5s World Cup in 2024, only a couple of months after the XVII Pacific Games,” said Peebles.

“We have been here for a week and so for another couple of days to have final discussions with the government about the Hockey Federations and the Pacific Games, and also have a look at the new Hockey Ground facility. It is a really great Hockey 5s facility and it will be a legacy for Hockey long after the Pacific Games finish. So we are very pleased, excited and grateful with having the facility here and it opens up the opportunity to expand Hockey in Solomon Islands in the years beyond the Pacific Games."

Apart from meeting with all the government agencies surrounding the Pacific Games coming up at the end of the year, the Secretary General of OHF said they are also in the country to talk about the ‘Hook in4 Health’ with the ‘TEAM UP’ program.

‘TEAM UP’ is an Australian Government program supporting partnerships across the Pacific that use sport to bring people together, champion inclusion and create opportunity.

“This is our program [Hook in4 Health] conducted in Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea [PNG] for sports development program with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade [DFAT] and TEAM UP. And, so we are bidding for a similar program here in Solomon Islands which will be funded by DFAT and come into existence maybe in the later part of the year,” said Peebles.

Secretary General Peebles said with the remaining days left in the country, he would attend to the Hockey Games at SINIS today as well and maybe do a little bit of Coaching and Umpiring and talk to the team about rule changes.

“How they can play in the games. Hockey 5s is a lot different from Hockey 11s. Hockey 5s is much more suited with Pacific Islanders, they are very quick [built suitable] in the game. We think we will have a lot of people coming to watch Hockey during the Pacific Games as we are very close,” said Peebles.

Apart from using the SINIS facility at the moment, Secretary General Peebles said they would like to get the nation’s team on to the new Hockey Turf at the KG site as soon as they can because that will help their development further. 

Source: Press Release, SINIS Media