(Photo: ffu/Frank Uijlenbroek)

The Black Sticks Women got off to flying start at the Hawke’s Bay Festival of Hockey with a 3-1 win over Korea. 

Over the course of the next week, spectators at the tournament will see many of the world's top female players, including Argentinian hockey legend Luciana Aymar, doing battle over the next week at the Unison Hockey Stadium in New Zealand, as they compete for honours at the Hawkes Bay Festival of Hockey.

Argentina, Australia, China, Japan, Korea and the home side, New Zealand, will play a round robin, with final placings decided in play-off matches. This means 64 games of top level hockey at the newly-built facility.

All six teams will be competing at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup in the Netherlands, so this tournament will be a good opportunity for coaches to see their players in action and to get an insight into the abilities of the opposition.

The tournament will have a special significance as it is likely to be the last chance players have to impress the coaches before the team selection for the World Cup is finalised. Over the course of the tournament, two of the Blacksticks team will be reaching milestones: barring injury Emily Naylor will become New Zealand's most capped player with 239 caps and Krystal Forgesson is likely to win 200 caps.

Alongside the international matches there will also be a Masters Tournament and a Schools Competition.