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