The Fans of HockeyNewsWomen's HockeyIndia to play in Hawke’s Bay Festival of Hockey (W) in Hastings (NZL)

India’s women hockey team will feature in the 2015 Hawke’s Bay Festival of Hockey women’s tournament (Hawke’s Bay Cup) to be held from 11th to 19th April. Matches at the Festival of Hockey will be hosted at both the Regional Sports Park in Hastings and Park Island in Napier (New Zealand).

Indian women hockey team at Park Island in Napier New Zealand (Credits: Jay Hughes)

Indian women hockey team at Park Island in Napier New Zealand (Credits: Jay Hughes)

Next month, India will be playing in FIH World League Round 2, to be held in New Delhi from 07 – 15 March, 2015. Hawke’s Bay Cup (in April) will be good exposure for Indian women, who are expected to qualify for FIH World League Round 3 to be held in June, that is their final chance to book a place in Rio Olympics.

The Hawke’s Bay Cup has eight of the world’s best teams coming to play for the Hawke’s Bay Cup. All six teams that participated in 2014 are returning with two new teams India and U.S.A joining the mix. The eight international teams competing in the Hawke’s Bay Cup international tournament are:
Australia (World ranking 2nd); Argentina(3rd); New Zealand (4th); China (5th); U.S.A. (8th); Korea (9th); Japan (10th); India (13th).

Event Director David Nancarrow says “The inaugural event in 2014 included 6 international teams, but the vision was always to expand to 8 teams this year. Hockey NZ and the tournament organisers, HBSEEC (Hawke’s Bay Sports Events and Education Consortium),are delighted that India has agreed to come “downunder” in 2015.

David Nancarrow added “India is ranked 13th in the world but importantly the sport is second only to cricket in public interest in India. This is an exciting development for the Festival of Hockey as it opens up a huge new audience of passionate Hockey fans.

The 6 teams that attended the event last year have given the tournament a big tick of approval, as they have all committed to returning this year. With the addition of the USA and India, the tournament is now truly global.

World hockey’s governing body – the FIH – has further reinforced the international importance of this tournament with the appointment of leading international referees and officials from England, Singapore, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Fiji to attend the 2015 Festival of Hockey.

Alongside the international event, the Festival will again incorporate an affiliates tournament (7th – 11th April), which will include 12 teams. The quality of the competition at this event steps up a notch this year with the inclusion of the Hong Kong men’s and women’s teams. The Furnware Cup (16th – 19th April) will be played between 8 schoolgirl teams including five from Hawke’s Bay and three from outside the region. 80 games of hockey will be played over 13 days with 28 teams participating.

The Hawke’s Bay Festival of Hockey is a collaboration between Hockey NZ and Hawke’s Bay Sports Events and Entertainment Consortium (HBSEEC). For Tickets and further Festival information go to www.hockeyfestival.nz

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