ActivePost Small Sticks wish the Black Sticks success

1 August 2014

The New Zealand hockey teams' smallest fans are hoping for success at the Commonwealth Games.

School children involved in the ActivePost Small Sticks hockey programme have been sending messages of support to the Black Sticks men and women’s teams on special “Good Luck” postcards.

A growing number of children are taking part in the junior programme which is run by Hockey New Zealand and supported by New Zealand Post through ActivePost. ActivePost supports initiatives that get more children and parents involved in sport.

So far, the ActivePost Small Sticks participation rates have exceeded expectations. 330 schools have signed up since the programme began three years ago. That’s ahead of the target of 300 schools set for this year, and means well over 60,000 children will have gone through the programme over the past three years.

In the past two years, there has been a 17% increase in the number of children participating in junior hockey in schools and clubs. In 2011 there were 20,023 children involved compared with 23,546 in 2013.

“We teamed up with Hockey New Zealand to support the growth and development of junior hockey in New Zealand and get more children participating in sport,” says Nicola Airey, New Zealand Post Group Brand and Community Investment Manager.

“These are the Black Sticks of the future, and the ActivePost Small Sticks have been using their Good Luck postcards to give some sound advice to the teams representing New Zealand at the Games,” says Nicola Airey.

One postcard reads: “You’re the best teams ever. I hope you play hard and don’t get hurt.”

For another fan, nothing less than a gold medal will do. “Good luck for the Commonwealth Games. I really like hockey. Bring the gold home. I will be watching you. GIRL POWER!”

Most of the 300 or so messages received so far keep it simple. “Play hard! Good luck! Have fun!”

The messages are being sent to the teams in Glasgow by Hockey New Zealand.

About Hockey New Zealand

Hockey New Zealand is the national sport organisation for field hockey in New Zealand. We promote and develop all levels of the sport, from children and beginners right through to elite national sides, the Black Sticks Men and Women.

About ActivePost

Launched in mid-2011, ActivePost is a New Zealand Post initiative to support grassroots participation in sports and recreation and give all Kiwis the opportunity to have a go. Each year, more than 200,000 Kiwi kids are participating in ActivePost sports. Initiatives that ActivePost provides support to include:

  • Hockey New Zealand – Small Sticks programme
  • Athletics New Zealand - Get Set Go programme
  • New Zealand Cricket – National Schools Programme
  • Water Safety - Kia Maanu, Kia Ora campaign and portable pools
  • Waka Ama New Zealand – Waka Ama

For further information about ActivePost and its activities, visit in a new window.