Turf time re­wards am­bi­tious play­ers

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport - By LAURA MCLEAY

Six young Mata­mata hockey play­ers are elated af­ter be­ing se­lected to rep­re­sent Waikato this sea­son.

Lau­ren Hawk­ings, Rita Jef­frey and Tessa Wal­don have made it into the Waikato A hockey team af­ter a rig­or­ous se­lec­tion process which in­cluded speed, drills, fit­ness and tech­nique.

Keely Frear­son was se­lected for the Waikato girl’s de­vel­op­ment squad and Christoph Ten Houte de Lange and Reuben Jones for the Waikato boy’s de­vel­op­ment squad.

The stu­dents who at­tend var­i­ous pri­mary schools in the area will be play­ing against in­ter­me­di­ate teams in Hamil­ton each week un­til the end of term three.

Keely, 11, has been play­ing for three years and said she was very happy to be picked.

‘‘I am re­ally ex­cited and amazed that I got in. I never thought I would get picked for even the de­vel­op­ment team,’’ she said.

Her favourite part about play­ing hockey is get­ting goals and be­ing able to drib­ble the ball up the field.

Christoph, 11, has also been play­ing for three years.

He started when he moved to Mata­mata from Hol­land and has grown to love the game.

‘‘I play cen­tre half and I think it is such a good sport to play. I re­ally want to carry on,’’ he said.

Their hockey trainer Mur­ray Hawk­ings has been run­ning a weekly coach­ing session at the Mata­mata Col­lege hockey turf for the past three years for pri­mary school stu­dents who want to learn more about hockey.

‘‘ I have over 50

kids com­ing along on Wed­nes­day nights now so I am very proud to have some of them se­lected,’’ he said.

‘‘It is very easy to teach those who want to learn and just to see the look on their faces when their names were called out for the Waikato team was a re­ward enough for me.’’

But Mr Hawk­ings

said

he couldn’t have given the stu­dents as much time and ef­fort as he has with­out the sup­port from all the par­ents, helpers and stu­dents who ar­rive each Wed­nes­day.

Turf tal­ent: From left, Rita Jef­frey, Reuben Jones, Lau­ren Hawk­ings, Keely Frear­son, Tessa Wal­don and Christoph Ten Houte de Lange will be rep­re­sent­ing Waikato in hockey for the rest of the sea­son.

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