The Tonga Hockey Federation has been gradually developing hockey at both national and grass roots level.
The national men’s and women’s teams have made huge strides forward in recent years to a point where they compete internationally in the Oceania Hockey5s and have world rankings of 65 and 58 respectively.
But like all progressive governing bodies, the Tonga Hockey Federation is also concerned to grow the sport at the grass roots level. In recent years, it has been doing a stellar job introducing and promoting hockey to all members of the community. The focus through November has been with Primary and Secondary Schools, culminating in national championships.
The success could not have been possible without the outstanding contribution of national player Fakavahe (Vahe) Paeaimoana. Vahe volunteers daily to help Development Officer Hiko Fungavaka coach and umpire at each of the participation programmes. Of the 11 schools in the programme Vahe undertook singular responsibility for two of them – Mangaia Primary and GPS Nuku’alofa.
Vahe also assists with the disability programme, the social adult programme, and the new Kau Mai Village Hockey programme.
Vahe attended the FIH Level 1 coach course delivered in Nuku’alofa in 2019 to upskill himself to be competent in both basic skills and delivery methods. The most magnificent quality that Vahe brings to the role is that he always has a smile on his face and this transfers to the children that he is working with.
Speaking on behalf of the Oceania Hockey Federation, continental development officer Gill Gemming says: “Here at the OHF, we think that Vahe epitomises volunteering at its best!”