‘Aggressive’ game grabs his attention
Nicholas Robertson loves the big hits of in-line hockey.
The Whitby design student is likely to dish them out and be on the receiving end at the highest level later this year.
He has been selected for the New Zealand under-21 squad to travel to California.
The team will play in the Amateur Athletic Union In-Line Hockey Junior Olympic Games in Huntington Beach and in the 2013 Federation Internationale Rollersports In-line Hockey World Cup in Anaheim.
Robertson plays defence for Capital Penguins based in Kilbirnie in the lower North Island league. He said he had initially played field hockey. ‘‘What got me into field hockey was ice hockey. I had always loved the sport,’’ he said.
Then he travelled to New Plymouth to watch the national in-line hockey championships and he was hooked. ‘‘I love the skill, how it is the whole package – skill, strength, speed, strategy. And I love how aggressive it is.’’
Many of the skills are very similar to ice hockey, he said.
‘‘There are some restrictions there are quite a lot of the same plays, like blocking, which is the art of hitting people.
‘‘ Obviously, you can’t just go out and hit someone. In ice hockey, you’re allowed to hit anyone, really, as long as they are in the play. In in-line hockey you can’t just hit them, you’ve got to kind of guide them on to the boards. It’s more guided hitting.’’
The New Zealand team will take a travelling squad of 16, including two goalkeepers. In the games, there are four players on the rink at any time with constant interchanges.
‘‘It’s a quite intensive, it’s quite anaerobic and all the movements just exhaust you,’’ Robertson said.
Big hits: Nicholas Robertson of Whitby has been selected for the New Zealand under-21 in-line hockey squad to play in the United States.