The number of junior hockey, rugby and netball players in Hawke’s Bay increased again this year as Unison continued to back junior sport in the region.
As the winter season ended, the last of Unison’s three medal ceremonies was held for junior hockey last night at the Bay Outreach Centre in Hastings.
Hawke’s Bay Hockey Community Manager, Andrea Cullen, said the partnership with Unison was a contributing factor to junior hockey numbers growing by nearly 25 percent.
“Unison’s support continues to make a huge difference to our junior hockey players by lifting the overall quality of the programme and ensuring an enjoyable hockey experience. In 2017, we had 107 registered teams in the Year 3 – 6 age group, compared to 86 last year,” said Andrea.
Last night’s event followed a successful ceremony for junior netball players last Tuesday, also at the Bay Outreach Centre, where former Silver Fern, Irene van Dyk presented medals to 183 young players.
Irene said the ceremony was important for helping to shape young sports players, “I got a real thrill being a part of the ceremony. It’s great to see the players rewarded for aiming high and demonstrating important values like discipline and fair play.”
Medal recipient, Dunisha Sandhu from Hastings Intermediate School said she was excited to receive the medal from Irene, “I was really proud of myself. This has never happened to me before. My Mum was so proud.”
Hawke’s Bay Netball Operations Manager, Tina Arlidge said the number of netball players has increased since Unison came on board in 2013 with the sport attracting close to 3,000 junior players each season. Junior rugby numbers were up two percent for the year according to Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union Commercial Manager, Jay Campbell.
Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough, said the sponsorship allowed Unison to reach more than 9,000 Hawke’s Bay children and their families this year.
“We want to see healthy, active children in Hawke’s Bay and we’re extremely proud this sponsorship is helping to encourage that. It’s also an important channel for delivering electrical safety messages to children and educating them on how to stay safe around our network.”