Both Black Sticks teams will still depart this weekend as planned.
With the confirmation from the New Zealand Olympic Committee that the New Zealand contingent is still competing in the Commonwealth Games, but should delay going into the village, the travel plans for the Black Sticks Women have altered.
The Black Sticks Men were always scheduled to arrive in Delhi on September 30, therefore the delay notification via the NZOC has not affected their travel plans. They depart as scheduled on Sunday, September 26 and travel to Malaysia first to play two test matches against the Malaysian Men’s team (September 27 and 28) and a friendly game against the Malaysian Junior Men’s team (September 29).
However, for the Black Sticks Women, the NZOC delay notification means they will now spend four days in Hong Kong. The team flies to Hong Kong on Saturday, September 25.Originally, they were scheduled to travel to Delhi directly after departing New Zealand, with only a brief stopover in Hong Kong. In light of the NZOC’s decision, the team will now extend their stay in Hong Kong.
They will now arrive in Delhi on September 29, rather than September 26.
Black Sticks Women’s Coach, Mark Hager, says staying in Hong Kong will still give the team time to acclimatise to warmer, humid conditions, and they will still be able to maintain a training schedule.
“For us, the delay means we miss out on a warm up game against India. We had planned to arrive on Sunday, and get into our training schedule and warm up games. Now, we’ll arrive in the village later, and pick up our training from there,” says Hager.
Hockey New Zealand Media release