Sport

Festival of hockey

Eli Lambert, left, from Ward School, and Harley Sangster, from Fairhall, race after the ball during the Festival of Hockey. Photo: Peter Jones.

College Park resembled a frantic hockey playground on Tuesday and Wednesday when Hockey Marlborough staged their annual Festival of Hockey.

Pupils from 14 Marlborough primary schools gathered at the hockey turf across both days to test their skills, some playing the game for the first time.

On Wednesday, around 300 children from nine schools were split into year 3-4, year 5-6 and year 7-8 grades, the turf was divided into three fields, and a series of friendly games was played from 9.30am until around 2pm.

The Renwick Year 3-4 team, from left, Jemima Nation, Tehya Wallace, Jackson Boon, Mya Benseman, Harry Stocker and Poppy Stocker. Photo: Peter Jones.

On Tuesday, around 140 kids were involved from five other schools.

George Nation, from Hockey Marlborough, said the Festival had been a big success.

“It was awesome. I even heard that some of the kids at basketball on Wednesday night were saying how much fun they had had and that they wanted to play hockey next year. It gave heaps of kids that don’t normally play a chance to have a run around.”

The Festival is part of the Small Sticks in Schools programme, which encourages children to have a go at hockey, and is expected to be run again in 2020.

Numbers are well up across the junior hockey competitions this season, with a couple of extra teams slotting into each grade.

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