Monday, June 20, 2011

Champions Challenge 2011

The 2011 Champions Challenge is being held in Dublin, Ireland. Some folk have been asking how this tournament affects your chance to qualify for the Olympics and how it affects the teams’ international rankings.

The Champions Challenge is essentially the bottom six ranked teams in the world. The top six nations attend the Champions Trophy tournament. The loser of the Champions Trophy gets relegated to the Champions Challenge tournament and the winner of the Champions Challenge tournament then moves up to the Champions Trophy tournament.

This year the Pools are divided in two: Pool A and Pool B.
At the top of Pool A is South Africa with 4 points, ahead of Scotland who also has 4 points, but the convincing 5-1 for South Africa over Japan has put them at the top of pool A. Japan comes in third with 3 points and USA at the bottom of the pool after two close losses. Japan defeated USA 2-1 despite the USA having many chances in the last minutes of the half. USA’s second loss, 3-1 came versus Scotland after being tied at the half.

Pool B has been full of surprises with the usual field hockey powers not dominating. It appears this years Champions Challenge will be one for the under dogs. The host nation, Ireland leads Pool B with 6 points and two wins over Azerbaijan and India. Azerbaijan is in second standing with 3 points and a win over Spain. In the last two positions of Pool B is Spain and India with 1 point each.

Today is a rest day in Ireland with the teams preparing for the following upcoming matches: Japan vs Scotland; USA vs South Africa; Azerbaijan vs India and Spain vs Ireland.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rachel Dawson Inks with Harrow Field Hockey

Press release: 

Harrow field hockey is proud to announce the signing of their first official sponsored player. 

Rachel Dawson, a University of North Carolina graduate and seven year American national team player, has teamed up with the American field hockey brand to promote, energize and grow the sport in this country.

Dawson, who already is a prominent face in American field hockey, epitomizes the Harrow brand with passion, energy, determination and a love for the game.

"I am beyond ecstatic to become Harrow's first officially sponsored field hockey athlete. The Harrow Brand is dynamic and innovative, and most importantly, dedicated to the growth of field hockey at every age and level in America.  As marketer, manufacturer, and distributor of its own line of quality field hockey sticks and equipment, Harrow is, in a word, All-American. I am excited to join forces with Harrow, and to represent a brand that I believe will have an important role in driving the USA to international podium status" said Dawson.

Harrow Sports, Inc. is a leading marketer, manufacturer, and distributor of sporting goods and uniforms to the institutional and team sports market. Harrow’s lacrosse, field hockey, ice hockey, and squash equipment lines, along with a comprehensive apparel, bag, and footwear are sold internationally and throughout America.

Mark Hayden, CEO of Harrow said, "Signing Rachel Dawson demonstrates Harrow's continued commitment to field hockey and women’s athletics. Rachel is one of the elite athletes in the history of field hockey and continues to serve as an outstanding symbol for the character, dedication, and performance that both Harrow and Rachel bring to the game. She is an excellent ambassador for female athletes all over the world."