By JULIA DAIA BORE
THE PNG Hockey Federation headed by president Kaluwin Potuan and the recently selected women’s hockey squad are poised to change the national team’s name Tamioks as they prepare for the Pacific Cup in Suva, Fiji, next month.
However, this has not been well received by members of the federation as well as former national representatives.
Potuan finally confirmed the impending name change yesterday after earlier claiming to be unaware of the move saying the PNGHF had yet to sanction a name for the women’s national team.
“We are not taking the name, Tamioks to the Pacific Cup!”
“The federation has yet to sanction a name to be used as the new women’s national hockey team name.”
He later added that the Pacific Cup was a new concept which PNG would be involved with for the first time – and presumably this required a new name.
“It is the Oceania ranking qualifiers which is not the same as the South Pacific Games,” Potuan said.
Speculation surrounding the move has been met with unease by members of the hockey fraternity in Port Moresby who point to the recent history of the Tamioks as something which engendered national pride.
The national women’s squad, is widely known and accepted as the PNG Tamioks who have to date, won silver medals in the 2003 (Fiji) and 2007 (Samoa) Pacific Games.
Moreover, the 2007 Tamioks, following the Samoa Games, entered the 2007 Oceania Cup in Brisbane which was a pre-Olympic qualifier against Australia’s world famous Hockeyroos and New Zealand’s Black Sticks.
The Tamioks attained an overall ranking of fourth in the tournament, according to former Tamioks members, including captain Vagi Boga.
They added that if other codes had internationally recognised names that stood for their sport such as the Pepes in netball, the Kumuls in rugby league, and the Pukpuks in rugby union, then the women’s hockey team had to retain the Tamioks’ name.
Potuan said he would have to verify this information with the PNG Sports Federation before commenting further.
Meanwhile, a spokes-person from the PNG Sports Federation and Olympic Committee, said members of a national sports federation normally decided, by consensus, on a name for its team.
Any change should likewise be done with the endorsement of its members.