Beneath the watchful eye of Maurice Payne, the 1984 Nationwide Hockey Workforce had a particular mission as they ready to face Canada on the Nationwide Stadium.
Hockey is taken into account Canada’s nationwide sport and having the chance to play in opposition to such a excessive profile crew was an enormous plus for the Fiji crew.
Fiji time reported on March 20 of that 12 months that if the nationwide crew managed to win in opposition to Canada in that recreation, it might open the doorways to different main worldwide tournaments around the globe.
This would come with the Esanda Championships, Asian Championships and probably the World Cup competitors.
It is because of this that the nationwide crew has undergone a collection of health and proficiency checks much like these which the Fiji Rugby Union has been operating since January this 12 months.
Such preparation appeared to repay. The nationwide crew confirmed how that they had improved by beating a visitor crew from Suva 12-2 in extraordinarily moist circumstances.
The rating could have indicated the rigor with which the gamers have been ready and proved that our sportsmen may go far with correct and cautious coaching.
The crew was put by way of their paces within the efficiency corridor behind the nationwide gymnasium.
It was there that Payne spoke concerning the match and, in his normal calm method, stated he was assured the boys would look good. Payne stated it was not essential whether or not Fiji gained or misplaced.
The sport, being the primary full worldwide recreation that Fiji performed, could be a superb alternative to guage our degree of hockey in opposition to a rustic so concerned within the sport.
When requested on what foundation the groups have been chosen, he stated the choice panel consisting of Dr Robin Mitchell, Godfrey Eastgate and himself based mostly their choice on dedication, dedication, bodily health and expertise.
Payne stated Fiji had proven a whole lot of curiosity in taking part in with worldwide groups like Australia, India, China, Malaysia and Canada. Canadian Hockey Affiliation President Vic Warren agreed to let Canada play right here if the chance arose and fortuitously for Fiji he did – when the Canadians gained the Pan Am Championships and certified for the Olympics.
They then organized a tour of Australia and agreed to play Fiji on the way in which again.
When requested how a lot preparation had been executed for the sport, he stated that along with apply, the boys had seen videotapes of the Canadians collaborating within the Esanda World Hockey Event which happened in Australia in 1982.
The Canadians completed ninth within the match which gained the Australian Sports activities award for being the best-run sports activities carnival in Australia that 12 months.
Concerning the angle of the Fiji Sports activities Council in the direction of hockey, he stated far more may very well be executed because the amenities accessible have been very poor and the pitches used have been under worldwide requirements.
He stated they didn’t count on the Sports activities Council to organize an AstroTurf floor for recreation enchancment, however at the least the sport must be taken under consideration. The fields should be improved and precedence should be given within the recreation earlier than the artists.
Payne stated it was additionally disappointing that hockey was not taught in elementary faculties that would afford to incorporate the video games of their sports activities curriculum.
When requested if Fiji ought to ship a nationwide crew to compete within the Australian Nationwide Championships, he stated it was one thing the Fiji Hockey Affiliation wanted to noticeably think about because the Australians had established themselves because the primary hockey nation on this planet and have been so shut. neighbours, we may study lots from them.
Requested about sending a hockey participant the next 12 months to Australia to be coached by Australian coach Richard Agiss, Payne stated he knew the Basketball Affiliation despatched a participant in 1983 and a coach soccer had been despatched that 12 months.
He needed the Fiji Hockey Affiliation to work on sending a deserving candidate.
He was grateful to the RUF for permitting the Fiji-Canada recreation to be performed on the Nationwide Stadium forward of the Mixed Providers Presidents’ XV recreation the next weekend.
On sponsorship, supervisor Wilfred Stephens stated hockey receives only a few sponsorships and he hopes that can all change after Saturday’s recreation.
Stephens stated it was time for hockey within the nation to step out of the shadow of soccer, rugby and cricket and it was time for Fiji to hunt worldwide recognition within the sport.
New cap Barry Whiteside says he and his teammates will exit on Saturday and do every thing they’ll to safe a positive end result to spice up the sport’s reputation.
Barry stated that they had executed an terrible lot of health work since January nevertheless it was price it and he was glad to have such nice officers in Payne and Stephens who had spent a whole lot of time making ready the crew.
Payne stated they have been the fittest, most disciplined and dynamic crew he had ever encountered.