Vanuatu to host FIH World series one

The Vanuatu Hockey Federation says participating countries are Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu and the event will feature seniors and Vanuatu’s Under 18 national team.

Hockey Development Officer, Todd Kitto says this is an opportunity for Vanuatu players to show their hockey talent in the home crowd.

“Since Vanuatu is hosting the event, we see it as an opportunity for our Under 18 to take part as preparation towards their participation in the Youth Olympic in October in Argentina, though its a seniors competition,” Kitto stated.

Vanuatu hockey hoping for Olympic boost

The Vanuatu men's and women's Under 18 teams finished runners up in the Oceania Qualifier in Port Moresby at the weekend to earn their place at the Youth Games in Buenos Aires later this year.

Women's coach Jen Bowtell said Vanuatu hosted the previous Oceania qualifiers in Port Vila four years ago and some of the spectators from that event are now competing for their country.

"For us international tournaments is such a motivator to get all the guys coming to training," he said.

Vanuatu volunteer helps hockey and health

The words just don't seem to match the person saying them.

"Yu mas go dring plante wota," he says, encouraging a young girl to stay hydrated.

"Yufala stap plei plei smol mor afta spel," he says to someone wondering how long before a break.

The language is Bislama, the creole language spoken across many of the islands that comprise Vanuatu. It is apparent the speaker knows his stuff, because the youngsters understand his every word.

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Hockey Gold medal play offs today

And history will be made for the Vanuatu men’s team who play off for Gold for the first time in history of the Hockey Oceania Federation.

This is the first time hockey is played at the Pacific Games, the only international events the code was involved in are the Oceania games and Arafura games.

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“Yes, my first trip here, I’m very pleased and also to be here for the Pacific Games is very important for FIH to follow these championships are very important.

“The turf is fantastic, yeah. Its like the Olympic pitch in London, we are very pleased, here you have a full nice venue and after talking with the Minister of Sports we are very glad because we have a plan to allocate here a lot of hockey tournaments,” said the Spaniard.

Hockey makes a return to the Pacific Games after a lapse of 36 years. It was last competed at the 1979 South Pacific Games in Suva, Fiji.

Vanuatu cruise past hockey new chums Tonga

Despite a spirited display by Tonga, who have not participated in Pacific Games hockey before, Vanuatu ran out comfortable 21-1 winners in the men’s match.

Vanuatu captain Hiro Namu gave credit to his opponents despite the one-sided nature of the contest.

“The Tongans played tough, but I was pleased with our performance – the boys played well,” Namu said.

“The Tongans were not a challenge because this is their first time to play hockey in the Pacific Games. They were not strong but it was good experience and I praise their good sportsmanship.