Hon­ours for hockey hero

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - SAMHEWAT

For seven years, Katie Glynn was New Zealand hockey’s golden child.

Since her de­but in 2009 at age 19, she played 134 matches for the Black Sticks in­clud­ing two Com­mon­wealth Games and the 2012 Lon­don Olympics.

She quickly be­came one of the game’s most po­tent strik­ers, scor­ing 77 goals through­out her in­ter­na­tional ca­reer - the sec­ond high­est by any New Zealand wo­man.

Brought up in Ep­som, Glynn was known for her re­silience on the hockey turf, but in 2014, her ca­reer took a spi­ralling de­tour.

Glynn was do­ing her nor­mal train­ing at a gym when she felt a tweak in her back.

‘‘I’ve had a few disc in­juries be­fore, but I knew this was a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent,’’ Glynn said.

The re­sult­ing in­jury kept her out of hockey in 2015 and forced her to an­nounce a shock re­tire­ment in the first half of 2016 - just months be­fore the Rio Olympics.

‘‘To be hon­est, it was pretty un­bear­able.

‘‘I was mask­ing it a bit and stopped telling peo­ple how much pain I was in and kept try­ing to push through.

‘‘I’d get home and couldn’t even get out of bed the next day.’’

She spent 16 months try­ing to get over the in­jury but found with each day, her sit­u­a­tion was fail­ing to im­prove.

‘‘I’m re­ally close with my fam­ily, but I ac­tu­ally didn’t talk to any of them about it,’’ Glynn said.

‘‘I just got to the point where I knew I couldn’t keep do­ing it. I just couldn’t do what I wanted and I couldn’t push my­self. I hated the feel­ing that I wasn’t where I wanted to be.’’

Glynn was re­cently an­nounced in the 2017 New Year’s Hon­ours List as a mem­ber of the New Zealand Or­der of Merit for her ser­vices to hockey.

At just 27 years old, she’s one of the young­sters on the list, and her short, yet im­pres­sive ca­reer, makes her nam­ing even more sur­pris­ing.

‘‘I was pretty shocked when I re­ceived the let­ter to be hon­est, but ob­vi­ously hum­bled and hon­oured at the same time.

‘‘It’s re­ally nice to be recog­nised for things but that’s not ex­actly why you do it.’’

Her con­tin­ual love for the game now has her work­ing as a sports man­ager at Auck­land’s Dioce­san School for Girls, coach­ing the first XI hockey team and fa­cil­i­tat­ing de­vel­op­ment.

GETTY IM­AGES

Katie Glynn played 134 matches for the Black Sticks, scor­ing 77 goals through­out her in­ter­na­tional ca­reer.

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