OPC 2014 Hailed a Success

Sunday, December 14, 2014

by Matai Akauola - ONOC Digest

OPC 2014, hailed a success

The Oceania Pacific Cup is more than just a tournament.

Its conception was to address the large gap between Pacific countries and top teams like Australia and New Zealand.

A gap caused by the lack of competition, experience, and resources.
6 years since its inauguration, the Oceania Pacific Cup has made progress in leaps and bounds.

This year, competition provided by Pacific teams has really improved and is the reason why teams were recognized the way they were in Thursday’s awards ceremony.

The OPC also sees the continuation of the “Champions give back” initiative where Australia and New Zealand donate hockey equipment.

“We have a massive thank you to Australia Country...also to New Zealand President’s XI for donating shoes and sticks,” said Peter Robinson, Vanuatu head coach.

“We actually wouldn’t have been able to play with shoes on if it wasn’t for Australia Country and New Zealand donating equipment.”

Furthermore, this year’s tournament is the medium through which the need for a common accreditations system for officials and umpires was addressed.

“Our main communication tool was for people to come to atournament,” Craig Gribble said.

To add, the OPC saw the continued rivalry between Fiji and Australia Country through the Tai and Hector trophy competitions.

“We’re really thankful to Country Hockey Australia,”said Hector Smith Sr.

“Who thought of all the work...I’m honoured for them to considersuch a trophy, and they’re coming every year...”

This year saw coaching clinics being conducted by the NZ President’s team on the rest day.

“It was great to be out there and give back to the game,” said NZ’s Kate Mahon.

“And some of the (Pacific) players out there have definitely improved...you can see that in a lot of the teams.”

Moreover OPC is also where the World League Round 1 for the Pacific is held, giving an equal chance for Pacific countries to qualify for the World Cup.

“We just want to say thank you for the support that’s been rendered here and also for the tournament,” said Taiava Ah Young.

“We only have the tournament once a year and we go out once a year and we thank Fiji, we thank all the sponsors and also ONOC as well for all the support that’s been given to hockey.”

Though the Pacific still has a long way to go, things are looking up from here.