NZ Hockey Affiliates Tournament in Napier

10. Planet Hockey NST vs NZ Maori Jason Hursthouse

The ‘Affiliates Hockey Tournament’ is a showcase culture and flair on the sporting stage. NZ Indians, NZ Maori, NZ Seniors, NZ Universities, Australian Country, and Hawkes Bay (hosts) go head to head for the spoil. With minimal preparation, teams must gel quickly and get into fast paced hockey.

This year two UC players competed in the Men’s league after earning selection at the UTSNZ Tournament 2016. Being thrown into an unfamiliar group with the excitement of tournament hockey set the scene for a week to remember.

The father figure Northland legends set high standards for the NZ Senior Team (‘The Sharks’) on the field, and a required ‘happy hour’ after games. The team quickly stuck together like quicksand, and the hockey became the easy part. Amassing 32 goals for, and 6 against in 5 games saw The Sharks take away gold despite a nervy final.

This tournament was a great lesson that it’s never too late to compete at a high level of sport, and that team culture (even in a short time window) breeds success. The Affiliates and UTSNZ tournament’s were a great experience. I thoroughly encourage all hockey players at UC to check it out, and get involved.