BY ROMULUS HUTA
IN PORT VILA, VANUATU
THE recent change of funding arrangements made by the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) will have a huge effect on affiliated members of the Oceania Hockey Federation in the Pacific Islands Region.
The change had it that funds which were used to be channelled through Oceania Hockey Federation for development purposes in its regional member associations are being handled by ONOC themselves and now channelled through various national Olympic committees such as the National Olympic Committee of Solomon Islands (NOCSI) or the Vanuatu national Olympic committee (VASANOC).
On that note, General Secretary of Oceania Hockey Bob Claxton told SunSPORTS yesterday this change of funding arrangement will greatly affect their affiliated member associations from the region.
“It will affect us in a way where our affiliated members in the island region are not ready for this.
“In this regard, it affects the hockey federation that we haven’t got a hockey localised money that can be utilised for development in the various island hockey playing countries.
“The big change is going to come from each national hockey federations.
“They will have to be far more proactive if they are going to get funding from their national Olympic committees because we just don’t have it.
“But we know that different national Olympic committees get somewhere in the order of USD$18,000 yearly for equipment.
“The executives of Solomon Islands or Vanuatu need to understand and put in submissions.
“They cannot rely on Oceania Hockey Federation to do it because we’ve been removed from it and each national hockey federations are members of their various Olympic national bodies.
“It’s going to take a little bit of re-training I think. Largely, they have been spoon fed by the Oceania Hockey for the many past years and now they are taking away the spoon,” the Oceania Hockey General Secretary said.
Claxton added that the recent change was one of their main discussions during the Oceania Hockey Congress held in Port Vila on Sunday where Solomon Islands is being represented by the country’s hockey president Nihal Seneviratne, who also holds the post as the Oceania Vice-President.
He added that most of the hockey national federations in the region are not aware of these recent changes and it’s important that such matters are discussed openly during the congress so that some forward planning are made.
“Each of the hockey federations in each of the pacific islands countries must change from the way and how they are operating. One get to make sure that they submit application for funding, equipment and going to tournament because that’s where all the money is.
“One of the best way of tackling the changes is to have all member association trained on how to go about getting the money, because the money is there. So it’s a bit of change on how things are operating,” Claxton explained further