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CEO Update 19 March 2020

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Dear AKH Clubs and College Sport Schools

Yesterday you would have received advice from Hockey New Zealand or AKH providing some clear direction  that is to be implemented immediately. The full media release of HNZ can be read here.

The media release indicates that all community hockey events, competitions, practices, matches, trials, programmes, tournaments, workshops and social competitions, currently in progress, must be postponed until Saturday 2nd May.

This advice has impact on our planned AKH programmes especially in the months of March and April. The following events are impacted and, at present, are being postponed:

  • The following that were scheduled to be held in March and April – including and not limited to:

o   Talent Spotter Workshop scheduled for 19 March.

o   Premier Intercity Competition that started 14 March.

o   AKH Coach Developer Women in Coaching  Workshop scheduled for 29 March.

o   NHC Player Briefing scheduled for 22 March.

o   U21 Gold Coast Exchange April 19-24

o   RPC IPP meetings scheduled for 21 March.

  • U18 Make-Up Fitness Trials – scheduled for Wednesday 18 March.
  • U18 Trials scheduled for April 29 and April 30.
  • Warren Busta Birmingham sessions at AISC and Somerville.
  • AGM Saturday April 4.

In addition to the above, the following is being cancelled:

  • April School Holiday Programme
  • Delivery of Small Sticks programme into Primary schools

All AKH member clubs are affiliated to HNZ so for clarity must follow the advisement of HNZ.

If any AKH clubs are currently running internal leagues or academies these must cease immediately.

You will appreciate that we are trying to communicate with  you as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

We will now be working on re-arranging our season to fit in the above postponements and rearrange draws for Intercity with Intercity organisers, Senior Club Hockey, Youth Hockey, Junior Hockey, and College Sport Hockey. We are grateful for the leadership of HNZ in ensuring flexibility for Associations to massage season lengths. More information will be passed on once we know if there will be changes to any National Tournament dates.

College Sport Auckland released the following update (extract) to member schools  today:

“Due to directives from National Sports Organisations and decreasing venue availability, all winter sport competitions sanctioned by College Sport Auckland will be put on hold. (This includes all promotion relegation games)

 College Sport Auckland will review the situation when school resumes in Term 2.

 If sport seasons are to begin at a later date, each competition format will be reviewed and entry closing dates will be extended to ensure the seasons remain competitive. 

We still encourage schools to continue with their own school fitness programmes, following current Ministry of Health guidelines. We also encourage schools to look for innovative ways to keep their students physically active within their school, as this is so important to overall wellbeing.”

The health and wellbeing of our hockey community continues to be our number one priority and we ask that those College Sport schools who own/lease their own turfs and have access to turfs not currently owned by Auckland Hockey or the Auckland Council, also adhere to and abide by these restrictions. However, we do understand that some schools with turfs will continue to run activities on their turfs under their own policies. We trust  that this does not extend to practice hockey matches internally or with other schools. The LEP Turfs and facility were closed yesterday afternoon to all stakeholders. We are aware that some schools with turfs have already closed their turfs to external hirers like ourselves and College Sport.

AKH staff will largely continue to work from home,  and already scheduled meetings like Club Council will proceed as planned either by phone or video conferencing. Members of our team will be in touch with those directly affected to make alternative arrangements.

I would like to reassure you that I have met with AKH Chairman Dave Wigmore to discuss yesterday’s  announcements and we are both of the opinion that the financial viability of AKH clubs and the Association is a top priority after of course ensuring the safety, health and wellbeing of all AKH stakeholders . We will  begin discussions in coming days with HNZ  around timings of, and commitments to, payment of affiliation fees. We would like to assure you that until we have more certainty around how the 2020 season will look, AKH will not be sending out invoices to clubs or schools for registration fees.

On Monday 23 March a notice will be sent to AKH  Clubs delaying the AGM set for April 4. This is a pragmatic decision while we get our heads around the potentialities for our 2020 season and provides time for the board to consider the financial implications of the situation we find ourselves in.

Also, be aware that new advisements may be delivered at short warning as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to evolve both locally and overseas. All stakeholders should refer daily to the Ministry Of Health updates via

AKH appreciates that there is some variability in the directives given across NZ sporting codes in the last few days but we fully support the stance that Hockey NZ has taken at this time, to be vigilant and support the public health messages of social distancing, self isolation, hand hygiene, no handshakes, hugs, hongis, etc.

We will continue to heed the advice of the NZ Government, Ministry of Health, and HNZ and SNZ and provide regular updates and advisements through our Facebook page, website and directly via email to Club Secretaries and Presidents and College Sport for circulation to Hockey schools.

On behalf of Manoj Daji QSM 

CEO Auckland Hockey

AKH proudly acknowledge the support of our Partners