NZ secures FIH event

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New Zealand has won the rights to host hockey's premier international annual event " the FIH 2011 Men's Champions Trophy – which will see the world's top eight teams compete in Auckland from 3–11 December 2011."

With a cumulative television audience estimated at 38m, it is the first time that New Zealand has held an international hockey event of this scale. Auckland welcomes the FIH 2011 Mens Champions Trophy in December. Im determined to make Auckland an events destination, and hosting the worlds top eight mens hockey teams is another huge boost for our region hot on the heels of RWC 2011. In addition to the sporting and media benefits, this event will inject around NZ$1m of new money into our economy. The teams and officials directly involved in the event will generate over 4, 000 visitor nights alone, said mayor Len Brown. The International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Leandro Negre said New Zealand will put on a first–rate Champions Trophy. Hockey is a growing sport in New Zealand and the Black Sticks are consistently performing on the world stage. I know they will do an excellent job as host, they have been extremely flexible and professional, said Negre. Hockey New Zealands chief executive Hilary Poole considers this not just a one–off opportunity, but part of an ongoing commitment to attract world class hockey events to New Zealand. It is the last major event on the mens calendar prior to the 2012 London Olympics – so to have the top eight nations competing here in Auckland, including our own Black Sticks, will give New Zealanders the chance to see some world–class hockey, said Poole. India was due to host this event, but the International Hockey Federation (FIH) confirmed in mid–September 2011 that they had withdrawn the rights because of ongoing problems with the governance of hockey in India. Poole said it has been incredible the swift response from our key partners to ensure we have the level of support we need and the right structures in place to host a successful event within such a short timeframe. Critical to hosting the event was the support from successful businessman and philanthropist Owen Glenn. He immediately stepped up with funds from his Glenn Family Foundation to help Hockey New Zealand secure the tournament, by becoming the naming rights sponsor, he explained. Glenn said it is a real privilege to be involved. I was fortunate to play hockey for 20 years in five different countries. During this period I met many good people, including three lasting friendships. Hockey is developing into a real community based sport that involves everyone, its a true family sport which is so important for our youth, noted Glenn. Other major partners include Auckland Council, Ministry of Economic Development (through New Zealand Major Events), SPARC, High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) and New Zealand Entertainment and Events Corporation (NZEEC). We congratulate Hockey New Zealand and are very proud to support the Mens Champions Trophy through the Major Events Development Fund. Securing this event shows that New Zealand is developing a strong reputation as an events host, able to work to tight deadlines, and still produce an event that is truly world–class, said Kylie Archer, manager Major Events for the Ministry of Economic Development. HPSNZ acting chief executive Martin Toomey said it is an important lead–up event to the London Olympics. He said: Hosting the tournament here gives the Black Sticks the opportunity to play against the best in the world on home soil. Its important they continue to get that international level competition as they aim for London. " Hockey New Zealand did the groundwork and due diligence before deciding to submit a bid to host the tournament here. Theyve done a great job and this gave us the confidence to invest in the event, he said. Poole noted that in the previous month Hockey New Zealand had undertaken an event and economic impact feasibility study, gained knowledge from previous hockey host nations, and worked with the NZEEC to develop the event plan. An event taskforce has been established with ex Hockey New Zealand chief executive Ramesh Patel managing the project over the next three months with the support of the NZEEC. Sue Brewster will chair the Hockey New Zealand Board Committee. In world ranking order, the teams competing include Australia, Netherlands, Germany, England, Spain, Korea, New Zealand and Pakistan. There will be 24 matches, with each team participating in six games. The event will be hosted at North Harbour Hockey Stadium which can comfortably host 5, 000 spectators, the teams, event officials, VIPs, media and volunteers. North Harbour hosted the FIH 2008 Olympic Qualification Tournament. Key event facts: 3–11 December, North Harbour Hockey Stadium, Rosedale Park South. Competing teams in world ranking order: Australia, Netherlands, Germany, England, Spain, Korea, New Zealand and Pakistan. New Zealand earns a place to compete as host nation and will no longer compete at the 2011 Champions Challenge in Johannesburg, South Africa, in December. It is the last major event for men on the international hockey calendar before the 2012 London Olympic Games. The Black Sticks placed 6th at the 2010 FIH Champions Trophy (Monchengladbach, Germany). At the 2009 FIH Champions Trophy in Melbourne, there was a cumulative television audience of 38 million people.

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