by Elijah Lavett – EM TV Sport, Port Moresby
Hockey made a return to the Pacific Games after 36 years.
It was last competed in at the 1979 South Pacific Games in Suva, Fiji.
This year, was the first time five aside Hockey was played in the Pacific Games, on a pitch that is regarded as World Class.
With the type of Hockey pitch available in Papua New Guinea, this will provide improvement in the skills of players in the sport.
The Fijians came in as all-time favourites, playing Vanuatu in the Men’s division to take out Gold, and the Women beat PNG to clinch Gold as well.
Even though Papua New Guinea did not manage to grab Gold, the new water pitch built will provide more opportunities for PNG to host international competitions and will allow PNG hockey players to enhance their skills on the pitch with the certain aim of becoming a threat to the Fijians.
In an article written by the Oceania National Olympic Committee, it said, “The Federation of International Hockey president, Leandro Negre, promised more international competitions to be held in Papua New Guinea after meeting PNG Sport Minister, Justin Tkatchenko, and visiting the new artificial turf built for the Pacific Games.”
Also in the article, it stated that The FIH president would like the World League Series Rounds 1 which has been staged in Fiji to now take place in Port Moresby.
With better facilities built for this sporting code here in the country, and the positive feedback PNG is receiving from the Federation of International Hockey, this will motivate Hockey players of today, to endure more in the sport which may see Papua New Guinea will one day become Kings and Queens of Hockey in the Pacific Region.