The Brunei Darussalam national women hockey team hosted a friendly match series against a school team from the Batu Pahat Science Secondary School (SEHEBAT) of Batu Pahat, Johor at the National Hockey Centre of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex.
The four-day series, which began last Monday and concluded yesterday, saw the Brunei team which is also known as the Stingers, taking on junior opponents aged between 14 and 17.
The national women’s hockey team, who recently returned to the international scene after two years of absence in test matches against Singapore earlier this month, made their second appearance of the year while the Batu Pahat-based team played their first match of the year.
Last Wednesday, the Brunei team led the SEHEBAT group during the warm-up, cooldown, as well as leading a coaching role in techniques and skills.
“The friendly series against the Stingers was aimed at the development of school sports for their skills and teamwork in the group,” said Batu Pahat Science Secondary School team manager Shahrizan bin Shamsuddin in an interview with the Bulletin.
The Brunei exposure matches marked the first time that the Johor-based school team has been tried out, placing emphasis on the younger players who are making the step-up from primary to secondary level.
“This is the first time especially the 14-year-olds learn about the rules, the skills and how to play hockey,” he said who have three new fresh faces in their group.
Since it is a boarding school, Shahrizan also shared that it is convenient for the players to train together especially during evening sessions.
The friendly series between the Stingers and the 16-member Batu Pahat school team was made possible after the visiting team’s coach Rohila binti Saidon and a member from the hockey association established contact.
“One of our teachers Rohila has a friend from the hockey association in Brunei. We got in touch with them to organise a friendly match in Brunei. We also know that the Brunei team is the Stingers hockey team.”
The girls’ hockey team in the Batu Pahat Science Secondary School was first assembled in 2011.