BY ROMULUS HUTA
THE head of the Oceania Hockey Federation has admired the drive and the passion Solomon Islands has in the newly-revived sport of hockey.
This follows the bronze medal won by the men’s under-18 hockey team during last week’s Oceania Youth Olympic Hockey Qualifiers in PNG.
Speaking to SunSPORTS in Port Moresby on Saturday, OHC President Pam Elgar said Solomon Islands have natural talents and skills in hockey.
“This was evident during the qualifiers this week (last week).
“I heard that Solomon Islands have no proper training facility.
“I cannot promise anything but it’s a must that the Solomon Islands government must assist the national hockey federation in Honiara to build proper facility.
“Looking at how the two young teams from Solomon Islands teams fared out, they have competed well against their opponents during the qualifiers. And it appeared that there is not much difference in the tactical aspects of their game. The only difference I can see now is facility where other countries have quality hockey turfs and Solomon Islands has nothing. Almost all countries participating in the qualifiers have world-class hockey facilities except for Solomon Islands,” Elgar said.
Hockey was played previously in Solomon Islands decades ago and only saw its revival in 2015.
In the last three years, much work has been by the Solomon Islands Hockey Federation.
Moving forward, Elgar said the good work done by the Solomon Islands must continue.
“It must not stop here. The good work must go on and continue. Very soon some of the pacific islands countries will look up to Solomon Islands interms of their competitiveness,” she expressed.
The OHF also held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) last week and Elgar has retained her position as the President.
SIHF President Nihal Seneviratne was voted in as the new Oceania Vice-President.
Seneviratne replaces former Vice-President Kaluwin Potuan of PNG.
The AGM and the election of new office bearers took place last Friday at the Stanley Hotel in Port Moresby.
Elgar also took the opportunity to welcome Seneviratne into the newly elected Oceania Hockey Board.
“This is a good opportunity for Solomon Islands.
“It’s time that Solomon Islands take up its turn to serve the Oceania hockey board.
“Whilst Seneviratne will take up his position to serve the entire interest of Oceania, he must also push the country’s development agenda in the sport forward.
“I see this as a very positive step for Solomon Islands going forward. I believe Solomon Islands has the right people in place at the moment to take the sport forward,” Elgar.
Meanwhile the Oceania Youth Olympic Qualfiers ended on Saturday and Solomon Islands men’s under-18 has been offered a spot in this year’s Youth Olympic Games pending further confirmation by the National Olympic Committee of Solomon Islands (NOCSI).
The women’s under-18 finished on fourth place.