NZ Flag Football team, captained by Hawke's Bay local, set to play in Malaysia
New Zealand's national Flag Football team, featuring several Hawke's Bay players, is set to take on some of the world's best in the Asia/Oceania Continental Championships.
NZ Mako flew out to Malaysia this week and have spent time meeting with students ahead of their opening match against Korea this afternoon (4.15pm NZT).
The team is captained by Hawke's Bay local Adam Blake, and features fellow Hawkes Bay Heat American Football Club player Harvey Godwin.
Blake has six years of experience in the code, but also has many years within rugby union. He says the team is ready to go after about 18 months of preparation.
“Getting here a few days early has been really important in helping us acclimatize to the heat and humidity. Malaysia have been great hosts and the professionalism has been above expectations.”
"Excitement levels are through the roof and we can’t wait to get on the pitch, perform the haka, and do our nation proud.”
The cup is an important qualifier tournament for the World Cup in Finland next year. The last time the team played on the world stage was in Miami at the 2016 World Cup, which saw them place seventh.
While it is still very much a developing sport in New Zealand, Flag Football was recently added to the Olympic schedule for Los Angeles 2028.
To watch the games, visit: ifaf.tv