Maciu Malo
Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Tilak High School hockey team at Nadovu Park in Lautoka yesterday. Picture: JAI PRASAD

The Tilak High School hockey team at Nadovu Park in Lautoka yesterday. Picture: JAI PRASAD

TILAK High School boys under-16 team maintained its unbeaten run in the Lautoka Secondary Schools Hockey Association weekly competition defeating SVC of Nadi 2-1 at Nadovu Park yesterday.
Owen Smith and Elijah combined well for Tilak scoring a goal each to help their team to victory. The win has enabled the side to secure the top spot on the weekly points table standing with two rounds of games remaining.
Team official Amit Vikash Prasad praised his troops for their grand performance and urged his players to maintain the consistency for the remaining games.
He said the boys played according to the game plan set out for them enabling them to win the game.
“We are happy to maintain our unbeaten run and I thank the boys for their effort,” said Prasad.
“We were stretched to the wire by a tough opponent and I thank the boys for their bravery and determination to win the game.”
Prasad said the team needed to lift their performance in their remaining games against Lautoka giants Natabua and Saint Thomas.
“We need to be accurate in our passings especially in the game against Natabua and Saint Thomas,” he said.
“We will work on our passings and team combinations during our training runs.”
Meanwhile, the school U19 team also defeated Saint Thomas 2-0 yesterday.
Jone Seduadua and Epeli Naivula were goal scorers in the game.

Hockey season in Lautoka started this July with much anticipation despite some senior teams pulling out. Lautoka Hockey Association has to be commended for the game’s revival in the district. Secondary school hockey teams were invited to take part to make up the numbers. One of the outstanding team performances was from Tilak High with its boys and girls teams wining with big margins against other four hockey schools. Tilak Boys under 16 demolished St Thomas 7-0 in one of the matches at Lautoka’s Nadovo Park. If Tilak’s juniors take this excellent form into next month’s Bhasin and Noel Cup Tourney it will be the school to watch to win hockey honours for Lautoka.

 

 

Suva dominates hockey tournament
Zanzeer Singh
Fiji Times Online, Sunday, July 21, 2013

PHOTO:  Jai Prasad – Lanoma Tuinamoala, left, of Nadi I and Merewai Tokola of Nadi II tussle for possession at Nadovu Park, Lautoka.

SUVA dominated the pool stages during the Aloesi Johns Memorial Hockey Tournament at Nadovu Park in Lautoka yesterday.

The Capital City team, boasting a few national reps, recorded high scores in both the men’s and women’s divisions.

In the men’s division Suva with the Smith brothers, Hector and Adrian beat Nadi 3-0 and Lautoka A 6-1.

In the women’s division Suva with the likes of national captain Melba Nautu and Maxine Brown walloped Nadi B 7-1 and Nadi A 4-0.

Fiji Hockey Federation development officer Tai Smith said they had added the Harry Rounds Trophy for the men’s winner.

She thanked the Fiji National Sports Commission for coming on board as the major sponsor.

“I’m really happy with the number of players that turned up for the tournament,” Smith said.

“There are many youngsters in the sport. It is the Aloesi Johns hockey weekend but we also decided to get the Harry Rounds Trophy as well. He was a strong supporter of hockey and that trophy will go to the men’s winner.

“It is wonderful to have a national tournament in Lautoka. We would like to thank the Fiji National Sports Commission for supporting the tournament. Also the Northern Club and parent body chipped in to help.”

A total of ten teams are participating in the two-day event. In the men’s semi-finals this morning Suva will take on Ba while Lautoka B will play Nadi. In the fifth and sixth place play-offs Lautoka A will face Sigatoka.

The tournament will resume at 8am.

Results: Men: Nadi 7 Lautoka A, Ba 1 Sigatoka 0, Lautoka B 5 Sigatoka 2, Suva 3 Nadi 0, Suva 6 Lautoka A 1, Lautoka B 3 Ba 1. Women: Suva 7 Nadi B 1, Nadi A 2 Lautoka 0, Lautoka 0 Nadi B 3, Suva 4 Nadi A 0.

 Global warming is the cause for dramatic change in weather patterns across the Pacific Ocean. El Nino effects have been with the Pacific islands for some time and this means more torrid hot and humid weather conditions for the forthcoming hockey season in Fiji.

Threats of tropical cyclones and unpredictable rainfall will  no doubt affect grass playing surfaces in the Western division of  Fiji.  Lautoka Hockey and other Associations in Nadi and Ba may have to consider combining  into a common  Western Hockey League under floodlights  just to escape the afternoon heat. Lautoka City Council and Ministry of Sports should offer some  considerations  and assistance  for our bidding hockey players which includes youths and kids.

This may require a radical re-think where majority of club hockey matches are played under lights in the evenings rather than in hot afternoons. For this transition to occur the local councils of Nadi, Lautoka and Ba and respective  local business community of the West  may be able to sponsor such a league. From a health and safety standpoint this evening shift will enable junior hockey to flourish in Lautoka and other western districts– all to the future benefit of Fiji Hockey.

Lautoka Hockey  Association aims to revive club hockey for the 2012 season in a big way. Non-affiliated Clubs are invited to join the Association and negotiation is under way with Lautoka City Council to prepare the  hockey   grass grounds at Churchill Park where club hockey was once played seven years ago.  Hockey supporters, ex-players and business community of Lautoka must come out this season to support Lautoka Hockey Association in its campaign. Hockey has  a strong place in Lautoka as it goes back to the 1920s, but over  a period of time many factors have led to its apparent decline.  Lautoka City Council has a special obligation to see that the sport does not fade away because in the near future there will be various hockey clubs from India, Korea, Malaysia and Pakistan  which may visit Fiji as Fiji hockey is now part of the World Series Hockey circuit after many years in  isolation.

Business and sports are very much intertwined where big business sponsor sports through advertising and endorsements. The culture is more matured in developed nations where from professional to amateur sports businesses do not hesitate  supporting the growth of local sports. In recent times team sports in Lautoka has seen steady decline. For last two decade team sports participation in Lautoka has shrinked dramatically. Hockey and cricket are two case in points. Why is this so?

In the late 1980s Lautoka hockey boosted at least 10 Mens clubs and 6 Ladies teams. Cricket Association boosted ten established clubs which played club cricket consistently for 30 odd years with a break. Fast forward in the year 2012.  What do we see? Lautoka hockey association has only 4 Mens teams and three ladies teams at best with two token Mens teams from Nadi to make the numbers. Cricket’s club participation does not look great either. It has only four cricket  clubs with two clubs from Nadi.

Without doubt there are various factors that led to the steady decline of this two ‘ minority’ sports compared to rugby and football. Economic stagnation, expensive sports equipment and poor junior sports programme and ad hoc administration of district sports in Lautoka. However one of critical factor that arguably contributes to the decline is the degree of apathy from Lautoka’s business community when it comes to sponsoring hockey or cricket in a meaningful way  just to give two team sports the longevity it truly and rightly deserves.

One of the sad aspects of this decline in popularity is that hockey and cricket in which Lautoka dominated for so long from 1950s to the early 1990s will be no more!  At one stage Lautoka players made the national Fiji  team without much hesitation because the depth of talent here in Lautoka was just too great to be ignored by national selectors despite Suva’s historical rivalry with  Lautoka in every team sport.

Lautoka Businesses under the Chamber of Commerce must look at innovative ways as to how sport sponsorship can be revived like in the past and Lautoka community is developed around sports. Lautoka City Council and Chamber of Commerce must establish a ‘Lautoka Sports Council’ with the mandate to redevelop ‘minority’ sports in which Lautoka once dominated the national stage. Fiji will soon take part in World Series Hockey and the national side has few Lautoka players. There is no astro hockey turf in Lautoka and few clubs that can afford are planning to travel once a month to play club hockey on synthetic turf in Suva. This not entirely a bad thing. But what about Lautoka sports then? Hockey and cricket will be dead in this city with two years if  local businesses,local council and  passionate sporting personalities do not take any remedial action in this urgent  matter.

Lautoka Junior Hockey

January 17, 2012

In 1983 New South Wales Hockey Association  sent a under- 13 boys hockey team to Fiji as part of its Minkey hockey development programme in the Oceania region. Suva, Levuka and Lautoka hockey associations welcomed this generous gesture as each of the districts under-13 side took on the New South Wales side  with great pride and competitiveness . Lautoka  under 13s lost both matches played by two goals to one but the experience was invaluable for the young Lautoka boys team. Half of these  Lautoka juniors went on later in their lives to play club , district and international hockey for Fiji with great distinction. Kevin Fraser was one such product of Fiji hockey.

If only Lautoka hockey could realize how invaluable  junior hockey really is because its future depends on a solid junior hockey structure derived from Lautoka’s primary schools. Its time to revive and put in place a viable junior or Lautoka Kaji hockey under-13 league with at least first five or six metropolitan Lautoka primary schools. It is opportune time for local Lautoka businesses especially its chamber of commerce to come out and sponsor future hockey champions of Fiji.

A matured Kevin in action against Venturers 2010