The Indoor Advisory Group is thrilled to announce the selected Men’s and Women’s Under-21 indoor hockey teams that will be representing New Zealand at the upcoming Australian U21 Indoor Hockey Tournament in Canberra, Australia. The highly anticipated tournament is scheduled to take place from January 8th to January 13th, 2024.
The selection process included a keen eye on standout performances during the National Indoor Opens Tournament, where aspiring players showcased their skills and determination. Additionally, the expression of interest registration allowed talented individuals to demonstrate their commitment to the sport and express their desire to represent New Zealand on the international stage.
Both teams are ensured to gain massive learnings and progression under the guidance of their respective coaches in the lead-up to this prestigious tournament. The New Zealand U21 teams are excited to showcase their skills and determination as they compete against top-notch talent from the Australian Territories.
U21 Women’s coach Joe Hanks says: ‘This is a great opportunity for New Zealand to continue the growth and development of Indoor Hockey. We are really excited about providing a new opportunity for these under 21 players in a highly competitive environment! The group has assembled and already started to build a strong campaign towards Canberra. I’m really excited to be taking these girls on this journey!’
Dave Green (U21 Men’s coach) says: “It’s an exciting time for Indoor Hockey. Twelve months ago we didn’t have a men’s program and now 12 months later we’re in a position to send an under 21 team to Australia to play in their national indoor championships. It’s a great opportunity for these young enthusiastic hockey players to build on their game, where indoor will help speed up their decision-making and drill their basics. A big thank you to the indoor advisory group which has made this opportunity possible for these players.”
The Australian U21 Indoor Hockey Tournament is a fantastic platform for young and talented players to gain valuable international experience, foster sportsmanship, and strengthen the camaraderie within the indoor hockey community. The Indoor Advisory Group extends its gratitude to the players, coaches, managers and supporters for their commitment and dedication. The teams are eager to make their mark on the international stage and bring pride to New Zealand.
Super Indoor Challenge (SIC) is a sports organisation delivering quality indoor hockey experiences to New Zealanders through a variety of weekend tournaments and short impact weekly competition.
Primarily delivered in the Bay of Plenty region in 2020 with great success, and is now focused on extending this experience in the Hawkes Bay.
Founded by the Mayo family who after spending 10 years in Australia experiencing all that Australian Hockey could offer and returned home in 2019 to New Zealand to find this fast, exciting, and highly engaging form of hockey had fallen off the radar in NZ sport.
While not well known in NZ, indoor hockey is a fast-paced, furious, and entertaining form of hockey played largely in Europe, America and Australia. It allows all age groups the ability to compete on a level playing field in a safe and stable environment, not to mention the best fun you can have indoors with your friends and family.
Indoor hockey was developed in Germany and is widely utilised to improve stick skills and decision-making in a fast and furious environment. The game itself is made up of a team of six players including the goalkeeper with up to seven substitutes.
The field is much smaller than outdoor, approximately 18m to 22m wide by 36m to 44m long (similar to a futsal pitch). It has a hard surface which incorporates boards along the side-lines that prevent the ball from going out of play, a major factor creating a fast action-packed game for both players and spectators.
Indoor Hockey has its own FIH World Cup held every four years for both Opens and Masters (35yrs+) teams, of which NZ had been invited to attend.
In recognition of this, as well as a priority to improve access to all formats of hockey, Hockey New Zealand (HNZ) has established an advisory group to lead the development of indoor hockey.
These SIC tournaments are the first of a targeted approach and endorsed by HNZ to provide an opportunity for all age groups to experience this exciting form of the game and grow the game to become a national recognised sport on the annual sporting calendar.
A significant challenge across the country is securing court time to develop and deliver our programmes due to the current demand for more established codes.
SIC has openly provided input into LTP planning for upgrading facilities to accommodate all indoor sports. We are very concerned that if we successfully deliver these programmes and see growth like Europe and Australia, we will not have the local facilities to accommodate this growth and it will be lost.