Hockey returns at Hukarere
Creating history is something Napier’s Hukarere School knows something about. Not only is the school celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, but for the first time in more than a decade it has enough players to field a hockey team in this year’s secondary schools competition.
Playing its inaugural, game against Taratea (a combination of Taradale and Tamatea High Schools) on Tuesday night at Legends Hockey Stadium, the side lost a hard fought game 2-0.
Team manager, Joanne Walker, whose husband Paul is the team’s coach, said she was thrilled with the result, despite the loss.
“I think the girls had a brilliant game. They gave it their all, kept to basics and really enjoyed themselves,” she said.
The result is even more spectacular when you discover half of the team are complete novices.
“After three training sessions together they’ve had just enough time to learn how to hold a hockey stick and hit the ball,” Walker said.
Two of the sides more experienced players, Bay age group representatives Linda and Michelle Walker were outstanding.
First time goalie Julia McClutchie played with confidence and completed a triple save in the circle, while fullbacks Violet Tuapawa and Taihaere Nukunuku were strong on defence and offered McClutchie timely support.
With a school role [roll] of between 70 and 80 students, Hukarere has always found it a challenge to get the numbers together to field a team.
“With the majority of girls committed to playing netball hockey has always struggle, but now we’re delighted we’ve encouraged so many to give hockey a go.
“Given Tuesday night’s response I think the girls are going to have a great season,” said Walker.
Photo caption – ON THE attack is Hukarere School forward Michelle Walker during the school’s first game in more than a decade at Legends Hockey Stadium on Tuesday night. HB TODAY PICTURE: WARREN BUCKLAND