We've got a bit of a calm before the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup storm this week and by the time the Free Man's back, the Black Sticks Men would have got their tournament in Malaysia under way.
You'll find some more bits and bobs from the lead up to the Azlan Shah Cup below, but I was super intrigued to find this yarn on the FIH.ch outlining Aotearoa's strong Maori hockey roots.
The Aotearoa Maori competed at the Affiliates tournament in conjunction with the Hawke's Bay Festival of Hockey and from that the FIH ran a cheeky story about it. Here's a few quotes from Tenga Taraheti who is involved with the Aotearoa Maori Men's team...
"Now, when we come together for tournaments such as The Affiliates, both the senior men and women stay on a Marae, which is a traditional Maori meeting house used in a social or ceremonial forum. Here, players are immersed in 'manaakitanga' or the act of hospitality and kindness.
Players are also encouraged to research and recite their "pepeha" or tribal saying. We hold Maori prayers before we dine together and before going to bed. These are very small things but they have a big impact on individuals and the group as a whole.
Hockey is certainly unique among Maori teams, players are given the freedom to show their natural talent, the talent that coaches can sometimes restrain when they micro-manage a team. You certainly see the individual’s true ability when they play for the Maori teams."
Some extra digging also found this yarn from the FIH, so shout out to them for pumping up Maori hockey twice already in 2017.