Hero photograph
Photo by Joe McMenamin

Mixed Hockey Team

Sports Dept —

The first to see the rising sun – the first NZ tournament to hit this astroturf - a 7.1 earthquake and tsunami that followed.

These were some of the things that the Naenae College Mixed Hockey Team experienced at the National Secondary Schools Mixed Tournament in Gisborne this year.

Eddie Forster and Willy McBride coached the team with 5 girls (Taliah Pham, Natalie Lake, Leah Forster, Samantha Grigg and Halem Gaudin) and 8 boys (Jackson Spellacey, Zamian-Ray Blake, Jacob Arthur, Jordan Martin, Michael Ula, Jesaiah Pham, Jacob Curry and Keiran Bond) They travelled to Gisborne and played against 13 other teams as far north as Kerikeri through to Newlands College, Wellington.

Being in a pool of four teams and gaining 2nd in this pool did not entitle us to move into top eight and after the crossover games, this meant that we had a full day of games off. This meant a day of catching up with Gisborne tourism industry where we saw Stephen Thorpe and his art at the Eastern Institue of art along with visiting Te Awhiahua and leaving an orchid with her (a very special time for the team as she played hockey with us the year before). Morere Hot Springs then beckoned and the day was finished with a barbeque on the beach front.

The last day of the tournament saw us playing our game at 8am so we were expecting to wake early however at 4.40 we were all awakened by a 7.1 earthquake that hit the East Coast. It rocked and rolled for an extended period of time which woke everyone – needless to say we were all tired when it came to game time.

Another experience to add to our memoirs – a time of team spirit and needless to say Te Whanau Tahi abounded.

The 'Most Valuable Player' for this team is awarded to Jacob Curry.

Last year Te Awhiahua Toko played hockey and was a part of our team to play at Mixed Tournament. A past parent from school has asked that we initiate a trophy in her remembrance after enjoying Te Awhiahua's presence in last years’ tournament. So thanks to a donation from a parent we are pleased to be able to give this award to the 'Most Improved Player' during the Tournament. This year this award is given to Harlem Gaudin.

Next year – Taupo!!