Glenn launches hockey legacy
"Hockey is your passport to the world."
That was billionaire Owen Glenn's message to Otara schoolkids last week.
Mr Glenn visited Flat Bush School to deliver a hockey kit - including sticks, balls and pop-up goals - to the primary school's keen players.
The businessman regaled students with his memories of playing hockey all over the world - from Fiji to Macau, India to Hong Kong.
"Hockey was a common family worldwide," he says.
The kit was given to the school as part of the Small Sticks programme, Hockey New Zealand's national initiative for children aged between four and 13.
It launched last year to 1500 children and this year is being rolled out to 20,000 kids across the country.
The aim is to introduce children to the sport and leave a "hockey legacy" in schools so that kids can continue to play.
Mr Glenn, a keen supporter of Hockey New Zealand through his Glenn Family Foundation, has helped to fund the Small Sticks programme in Otara schools as part of his wider contribution to the Otara community.
Small Sticks is also sponsored nationwide by New Zealand Post's health and wellness community programme, ActivePost.
Hockey New Zealand chief executive Hilary Poole says the programme includes a series of age-based lessons, starting with basic skills and building up to full-field 11-a-side hockey.
"It's a game-based programme so children learn as they play," she says.
"As they play they develop movement, balance and timing skills - which can also be transferred to their other sporting activities."
The Glenn Family Foundation's philanthropic efforts have a focus on sport, which Mr Glenn says encourages families to come together and contributes to strong communities.