SPORTS

Hockey’s SOS Call For Support

  The 22-member Fijian men’s hockey team are pleading for financial support as they prepare for the much-anticipated second round of the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) World League. Fiji Hockey
01 Feb 2017 11:00
Hockey’s SOS Call For Support
National Hockey coach Hector Smith senior monitor the players during their training at the National Hockey Center yesterday. Photo: PAULINI RATULAILAI.

 

The 22-member Fijian men’s hockey team are pleading for financial support as they prepare for the much-anticipated second round of the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) World League.

Fiji Hockey Federation president Dr Robin Mitchell yesterday confirmed that they needed a budget of $150,000 to make the trip to Bangladesh.

Head coach Hector Smith Snr told SUNsports, the players would have to give $2000 each for their levy for the trip and has called on business houses to help support them.

“We are also working on a proposal that we are taking to business houses because if we qualify from Bangladesh, then next is England in June. We need support and some families have two players so they have to give $4000 so it’s quite a difficult task for them.

“As a minor sport it’s hard for players as they have to train, go to the ground, get a balance meal, so we need support to try and get to Bangladesh.

“Even training at home is expensive- to use the turf it costs us around $1000 a month.”

Smith also said they are trying to expose the local players to the outside world to build their competition and performance level.

“Right now our concern is to get some competition at home. So we are sending out requests and also working on the players on off the field discipline. We are having classroom sessions teaching them on topics like leadership, diet, character building and illegal substances.”

The World Hockey League Round 2 will be held from March 4-12 in Dhaka.

The FIH has released the draws for the week-long tournament which sees Fiji grouped in Pool A alongside favourites Canada, Oman and Bangladesh.

The Fijians will play their first match against Oman on March 4, then take on Bangladesh on March 5 and their final pool match against Canada is on March 7.

Smith said the squad is a good mixture of young and senior players as they aim for a spot in next year’s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

The World League Round 2 is being held over three continents in Northern Ireland, Trinidad & Tobago and Bangladesh. The top two teams from the three continents and top two-ranked third place qualify for the semi-finals of the 2017 World Cup in London, which is from June 15-25. Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback:  anasilinir@fijisun.com.fj



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