Happy New Year to you all.
I hope that you have all had a great Christmas and an enjoyable new year.
2018 promises to be an exciting and challenging year for us all in Underwater Hockey New Zealand with lots to look forward to.
We have a full year of tournaments and on the international front we have our Men's and Women's teams going to the World Championships in Quebec in July and the Trans Tasman's will be held in Rotorua in October.
There are a number of announcements coming in regards to new initiatives so keep an eye out for these over the next couple of weeks. The first one is about development of Masters Hockey - see the story below.
In 2017 Nicole Baker, our Masters Development Officer, has done some great work on the development of the Masters hockey in New Zealand and we are looking to build on this work done with further strategic initiatives.
NZ Masters Teams to Worlds
Considerable interest has been raised in having NZ Masters teams compete again at World Championships. Whilst we were close in getting sufficient numbers for a men’s team to go to Quebec this year it would now appear that this is unlikely with entries closing mid-February.
Our focus now moves to the 2020 World Championships, which are likely to be held closer to New Zealand than Quebec, where we are aiming to have both Men’s and Women’s Masters teams attend.
This gives us over two years to plan and build up our Masters teams programme to support these teams and as part of this there are two strategic Masters activities that we are committed to1. Masters Four a-side tournament
This has been run successfully in Rotorua for the last two years and UWHNZ is committed to supporting this event to:
We are just finalising the pool booking and dates and these will be confirmed shortly for a mid August event.
2. Masters at Regionals
Over the past few years whilst we have offered the Masters grade at regionals tournament there has been insufficient entries for a separate grade thus meaning that Masters players are being deprived from playing at this important tournament. In order to provide Master’s players the opportunity to play at this tournament we will be offering Masters players that do not make their regional team the opportunity to play in an “Invitation Masters” Men’s or Women’s team and compete in the Men’s or Women’s grade respectively.
This will provide our Masters players with the opportunity to play high quality hockey with players of the similar skill and interests whilst also developing these players with the aim of growing the pool of available players for the 2020 World Championships.
In doing this it is important that we do not impact the rest of the tournament so the following rules will apply:
Entry forms for this years Regionals will be issued shortly