In­line hockey champs play

Horowhenua Chronicle - - SPORT -

Horowhenua Events Cen­tre was the set­ting for the in­ter-re­gional in­line hockey cham­pi­onships for 2018.

More than 250 ath­letes from all over New Zealand came to Levin over Labour Week­end to com­pete in the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion. Age grades ranged from un­der 10s to un­der 16, ju­nior women and Masters rep­re­sent­ing North­ern, Cen­tral and Lower North Is­land.

Com­pe­ti­tion be­gan on Satur­day morn­ing with Un­der 10 Lower North All Stars win­ning over a strong Cen­tral team. Levin Thun­der Pres­i­dent and Lower North Is­land Chair­man Ar­den Phillips said he is proud to have brought the highly re­garded com­pe­ti­tion to the area.

“It’s been 20-plus years in the mak­ing. I com­peted in my first In­ter-re­gional Com­pe­ti­tion in 1997 and never thought we would have an op­por­tu­nity to host a tour­na­ment of this scale.

“The tour­na­ment was well re­ceived na­tion­wide with amaz­ing feed­back from play­ers, coach and Man­age­ment but just as im­por­tant as the par­ents and spec­ta­tors. Be­ing that we are a small sport it re­ally felt like one big fam­ily at the venue.”

On Sun­day the Vi­sion Hockey Skills Com­pe­ti­tion was a first at In­ter-re­gion­als and al­lowed kids to ex­press them­selves and test their skills against the best in the coun­try. Fastest skater, top sniper (shooter) and top goalie po­si­tions were com­peted for across three age grades. Levin Thun­der Mem­bers Am­ber Met­calfe and Ameilia Hunt were named fastest skater and top goalie in the Ju­nior Women grade.

Lower North Is­land Masters fin­ished the tour­na­ment un­beaten to ac­quire the re­gions’ only gold medal. It wasn’t enough to win the over­all in­ter­re­gional cup. North­ern re­gion won, fin­ish­ing first af­ter 34 games.

Levin Thun­der had a great time show­ing off the re­gion and Horowhenua Events Cen­tre and the fa­cil­ity on of­fer.

“We have had such great feed­back about the fa­cil­ity and look to put bids in for fu­ture tour­na­ments. It’s taken years to get this tour­na­ment and we hope it has opened fu­ture op­por­tu­ni­ties to bring more ma­jor com­pe­ti­tions here. Levin Thun­der has gone from strength to strength. We can put this down to our hard work­ing com­mit­tee but also lo­cal sup­port from busi­nesses, council and our mem­bers,” said Phillips.

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Un­der 12s lower vs cen­tral re­gion teams at in­ter-re­gional in­line hockey cham­pi­onships held in Levin over labour week­end

LVN261018d­bin­line­hockey2 PHO­TOS / DAR­RYL BUT­LER

Ar­den Phillips, Lower North Is­land chair­man hands Janine Kolk­man North­ern Re­gion chair­man the cup.

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