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Leandro Negre FIH President made his first visit to Oceania Pacific Cup in December 2011. This was a perfect opportunity to meet with all the Pacific Island members playing in the Oceania Pacific Cup.
Oceania Pacific Cup has been in place for four years now and is growing every year. This year Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu all competed along with teams from NZ Barbarians and Australian Country.
Leandro Negre was able to experience first hand a formal welcome by the Fijian hockey community complete with traditional Kava ceremony. Following the Kava ceremony a shared meal and celebration was held with all the athletes and officials and management teams. This was a fantastic event bringing together the hockey family in a fun way. This was supported by the Fiji Police Band and a number of athletes showed their musical ability with some great performances.
Oceania Hockey Federation forum was held on Thursday 8th December to give each of the island nations the opportunity to share their plans of where hockey was at in their country and the challenges they were facing. The President gave the members a full view of progress being made in the international hockey community in particular the new World league which is set up to provide more countries with opportunity to participate in the Olympic Games qualification process. Discussion about the complementary game was also held and how this will benefit the Pacific Games.
Youth certificates were presented to a number of young people present who had been helping tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure Oceania Pacific Cup ran smoothly. Youth Leaders were also recognised for their efforts in many aspects of the sport including Coaching, Umpiring and Administration throughout the season.
Oceania Pacific Hockey Federation is working hard with its members to instil a love of the game of hockey and develop it in each country so that it remains a sustainable sport with strong foundation.
The officials and umpires also spent quality time with the President hearing first hand the different improvements to opportunities and training available to them as they develop. The feedback from the Team was superb – many couldn’t believe how easy it was to talk to Leandro and how willing he was to listen to their views.
A superb visit to one of the smaller Continental Federations that will stay in the members minds for a long time. Thank you to Leandro for taking the time for this momentous visit.