Ki­wis go to world champs

Central Leader - - SPORT - By BEN ROGERS

The un­der-19 New Zealand Women’s Lacrosse team is head­ing to Scot­land to do battle in the world champs.

Ev­ery Sun­day the side con­gre­gates at Col­lege Ri­fles Park to train from 9am to 4pm in the sum­mer heat.

Play­ers come from all over Auck­land and many travel up from the Waikato.

‘‘The train­ings are very high in­ten­sity be­cause we are com­ing up for weekly ses­sions, they last the day which al­low for a good amount of time to prac­tice lots of skills, set plays and fit­ness,’’ Mt Al­bert Gram­mar stu­dent Ge­or­gia Carter says.

Cur­rently the New Zealand side is ranked 12th in the world and the girls are hop­ing to boost their rank into the top eight, team-mate and Grey Lynn res­i­dent Ellen Hack­ett says.

‘‘We def­i­nitely are in with a chance but it won’t be handed to us on a sil­ver plat­ter,’’ Hack­ett says.

‘‘The hard work we put in now is what will be re­flected on the field and will de­ter­mine our sta­tus.’’

The New Zealand girls could come up against some of the tops sides in the world in­clud­ing USA, Canada and Eng­land.

While Lacrosse is one of the fastest grow­ing team sports in the coun­try, Ep­som res­i­dent Har­riet Beat­tie says it’s vir­tu­ally nonex­is­tent in the South Is­land.

‘‘It was par­tic­u­larly chal­leng­ing while I was down in Dunedin for Uni­ver­sity last year,’’ Beat­tie says. ‘‘Auck­land has a fan­tas­tic and very com­pet­i­tive club com­pe­ti­tion, which takes place over the sum­mer.’’

Seven­teen-year-old Tori Cr­is­ford plays her club Lacrosse for Col­lege Ri­fles and is ex­cited about head­ing to Scot­land to rep­re­sent her coun­try.

‘‘I’m look­ing for­ward to be­ing able to ex­pe­ri­ence a new cul­ture,’’ Cr­is­ford says.

‘‘The com­pe­ti­tion will be very tough as we’ll be play­ing against the best play­ers in the world at the un­der-19 level.’’

Lacrosse is played with a stick or crosse and is a high in­ten­sity, fast-paced game.

‘‘Lacrosse is the per­fect com­bi­na­tion of ath­leti­cism, speed, hand­eye co-or­di­na­tion and also strat­egy. It com­bines so many el­e­ments of other sport­ing codes into one game,’’ Beat­tie says.

The girls are fundrais­ing $10,000 each.

Na­tional reps: Tori Cr­is­ford, Ge­or­gia Carter, Har­riet Beat­tie and Ellen Hack­ett are hop­ing to take the un­der-19 New Zealand Women’s Lacrosse team into the top eight in the world.

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