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Hockey NSW celebrates the success of the 2024 New Balance Regional Challenge

Published Wed 27 Mar 2024

Over 600 Hockey players from across the state attended the New Balance Regional Challenge. Supported by the City of Newcastle, on Friday 8 - Sunday 10 March 2024 at the Newcastle International Hockey Centre. 

This is the largest single recreational event on the Hockey NSW calendar, drawing players from every corner of the state. It serves as the culmination of the 2023-24 Centre of Development (COD) program that is held across the state in regions and supports the continued development of Hockey skills over a 10-week program. 

The three day Chellenge provides an opportunity for these players aged 12-14 to compete in a tournament style event, allowing all participants the chance to practice and demonstrate the skills they have been working on throughout the COD program. Over 600 participants played in both Hockey 5's and Hockey 8's format with a focus on participating in a fun and friendly non-competitive environment. 

The New Balance Regional Challenge is not just about the matches, with workshops by Brent Livermore (Director of Hockey and Performance) and Zeke Newman (Umpire and Officials Development Manager) being held, offering invaluable insights into coaching and Hockey officiating. 

Participants also had the opportunity to hone their skills through a tomahawking workshop, led by Hockey NSW staff. This focused on foot positioning, stick handling and how to strike the all smoothly. 

Events like this are not possible without the invaluable support, commitent and enthusiasm from the event coaches, officials and umpires who volunteered their time to ensure the matches ran smoothly. With three officials and six umpire coaches overseeing matches, alongside nearly 40 developing umpires, the New Balance Regional Challenge would not have been the same without them. We would like to extend a massive thank you to every one of the volunteers. 

With the end of another successful New Balance Regional Challenge, Hockey NSW would like to thank our sponsors and partners in New Balance, the City of Newcastle, Just Hockey, Click InFocus photography, and the International Hockey Centre for their unwavering support. 

We would like to thank all the participants and their families for attending this event, Hockey is a very lucky sport to have such a great family network. 

Registrations are currently open for Hockey in NSW, if you would like to find out more about your local Hockey club, click here