THE Fiji men's and women's hockey teams were scheduled to fly out of the country this morning with high hopes for Round 2 of the International Hockey Federation World League in India.
The national side presented their i-tatau to the Minister for Youth and Sports, Commander Viliame Naupoto yesterday followed by the men's team church service in Nabua last night.
Fiji men's team coach Hector Smith Sr said they were carrying the hopes of the nation and would do their best not to let their supporters down.
He said they had finished the necessary preparations and were looking forward to their games from next week.
"Few months ago, it seemed impossible for the team to travel to India and participate in the competition," Smith Sr said.
"I thank everyone who have supported the team and helped us in making this trip possible."
Smith Sr said playing against the top hockey playing nations would be a tough challenge for them. He said it was also a good learning experience for the national players.
Smith Sr said adapting to the conditions in India and fighting off the jetlag after long travel would be a challenge for the team.
He said while other teams in their pool were familiar with the Indian time, they would not let this deter their spirit to create history in the week-long meet.
The men's side, ranked 71 in the world, is pooled with hosts India (11th), China (18th), Ireland (15th), Bangladesh (40th) and Azerbaijan (38th).
The Shaun Corrie-coached women's side ranked 59th in the world, has been pooled with Japan (9th), India (12th), Russia (20th), Malaysia (22nd) and Kazakhstan (33rd).