Wob­blers turn into first rate whizzers

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Tawa kids took their shaky first steps to­wards mas­ter­ing in­line hockey at Grasslees Re­serve last week.

Thirty- six un­der- 10 kids at­tended two week-long train­ing camps run by the Rimu­taka Rene­gades in­line hockey club over the past fort­night.

In­line hockey is played wear­ing in­line skates, so the chil­dren had to master their skat­ing skills be­fore they moved onto hockey it­self. There were plenty of wob­bles and falls but by the end of the pro­gramme the chil­dren were whizzing about, bend­ing pucks around cour­ses of cones and play­ing a proper game on the fi­nal day.

Af­ter two days of rain last Mon­day and Tues­day, which forced the kids to learn hockey the­ory in­doors, the sec­ond class fi­nally got out­side and on their skates. For Tawa School pupil Sammy Park, 10, putting on her skates for the first time was the best moment of the week.

They were coached by Team Canada in­line hockey cap­tain Dave Ham­mond, former Tawa Col­lege stu­dent Thomas Coul­mann and Kiwi Jer­reau Ho­haia, who plays pro­fes­sion­ally in Ger­many.

The trio vis­ited Tawa schools in De­cem­ber, teach­ing kids the game and en­cour­ag­ing them to at­tend sum­mer camp, Mr Ho­haia said.

‘‘They love it. They’re out of class­work and they’re right into play­ing around. They just love be­ing on skates.’’

There was a huge de­mand for the sum­mer camps, and the coaches hope to start af­ter­school and week­end pro­grammes to grow the sport in Tawa.

‘‘We’re just try­ing to build the in­ter­est,’’ Mr Ho­haia said.

‘‘Ul­ti­mately what we want is a club to be set up here.’’

Stick with it: Tawa School pupil Sammy Park, 10, got the hang of skat­ing while driv­ing a puck at an in­line hockey camp last Wed­nes­day.

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