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Summer Camp start of School’s Hockey

( St John’s College Hockey is kicking off its year with a summer boot camp at Pheasant Tail Lodge in the Bay of Plenty.

Traditionally, the annual summer camp is held over three days at the end of January at the school in Hillcrest Road, with the boys attending training sessions at the Paul Honiss Centre, as well as listening to presentations from keynote speakers. Last year Clarissa Eshuis, Black Sticks defender, spoke at the camp about winning the silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and then demonstrated her world-class drag flicking ability.

This year, however, is about something a little different. Coach Aaron Barnsdall has decided this hockey camp will be more about boosting confidence and team building, and less about stick and ball skills. “A lot of kids already attend hockey focussed activities hosted by various organisations, so I wanted to give the boys something which takes them out of their comfort zone, forces them to think laterally and gets them working together not just as a hockey team, but in a broader sense.” says Barnsdall.

The boot camp is only the beginning of a busy year for the school’s hockey itinerary. The Waikato secondary school hockey season starts in the 2nd term with the St John’s College 1st XI aiming to improve on their 2011 5th place finish. Then in August the squad is competing in a national secondary schools’ tournament, and finally, in December they are off to Melbourne to attend international hockey’s elite Champions Trophy tournament. “Although we were originally keen on visiting Argentina,” says Barnsdall, “we settled on Australia after considering the costs involved, and as luck would have it, Melbourne is hosting the Champions Trophy at the same time we are over there.” Running concurrently, there is a junior tournament which the 1st XI squad can compete in. This opportunity is very rare and the boys are looking forward to playing against some top-notch Australian hockey teams.

Media Release 15 January 2012.



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