Giant jandal at stake

The event is hosted at Mount Main beach from 9.30am-5pm.

A giant jandal is set to separate friend from foe at Mount Maunganui beach today.

The coveted jandal is the main prize in the New Zealand Beach Hockey Championships, which returns once more to the Bay of Plenty.

Local organiser Kate Savory, says around 21 teams from around the North Island will go head to head to compete for the prize, as well as bragging rights.

“The New Zealand Beach Hockey Championships is a fun annual event we host which encourages everyone, and especially people with little experience in hockey, to come along and get involved.”

“The game is played on sand between two teams of five. Teams use a small football and slightly larger hockey sticks than the standard ones.”

She says the game is very social, and no experience is needed.

“The competitive nature ends up coming out in everyone, and it’s quite funny to watch.

“It’s always great hosting this event, you see spectators come out really early in the morning to try find the best place to set up their gazebos and picnics.”

She says it’s great to have more teams registered this year.

“There was only 16 teams at last year’s event so to have 20 is great. It’s become so popular we’ve actually set up two fields.

“A lot of local businesses and people in the community have also supported us this year which has been really great.

“Our main sponsor for this year has been Craig’s Investment, and they’re entering a team too.”

The games will also involve spot prizes and a best-dressed competition for competitors.

The event runs from 9.30am-5pm at Mount Main beach and is free to watch.

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