TWO teams from Australia will feature in the MH Fiji Open Hockey tournament next week.
Newly-formed Australian Fijian Hockey Association will field a men's and women's team.
Fiji Hockey Federation president Dr Robin Mitchell said the Association was made up of former Fijians now residing in Sydney. He said the inclusion of the two teams would boost the level of competition in the tournament and add an international touch.
This is not the first time an international team will compete in the event as the Northern District Hockey Association side of Punjab from India featured in the tournament last year.
"We are pleased to have the Australian Fijian Hockey Association coming over this year to compete in the Fiji Open," Dr Mitchell said.
"The association was formed just this year and they have played some games in Sydney but this is the first time they will be coming to Fiji for a tournament," he said.
"Their participation is sure to add international spice to the competition that is one of the oldest in Fiji sports."
The Fiji Open tournament has been a regular competition since August 1944 when Sir Maynard Hedstrom gave the Hedstrom Shield.
Suva, Nadi, Lautoka and Ba will feature in the main tournament along with the Australian visitors.
And for the first time the tournament will feature an under 16 competition that will be used to select a national under 16 training side to prepare for the 2014 Youth Olympics in China.
Meanwhile, sponsors Morris Hedstrom (MH) and Vodafone yesterday handed over $10,000 to the FHF for preparation of the event.
The Fiji Open will be held from October 12 to 14.