Stars teach youngsters

Alexander ScottNorth West Telegraph
Kookaburra Jack Walch and Hockeyroo Stephanie Kershaw with Minkeys Ashley O'Driscoll, Stevie Whitehead-Hovey, Jonathan White, Mahkez Murphy and Kiara O'Driscoll.
Camera IconKookaburra Jack Walch and Hockeyroo Stephanie Kershaw with Minkeys Ashley O'Driscoll, Stevie Whitehead-Hovey, Jonathan White, Mahkez Murphy and Kiara O'Driscoll. Credit: Alexander Scott

Children at Hedland Hockey Club were given the opportunity to train with international hockey stars last week.

Hockeyroo and Commonwealth Games silver medallist Stephanie Kershaw and Kookaburra Jack Welch taught the five under-10 players basic skills of the game and played matches with the children.

The visit was part of Hockey Australia’s Community Hockey Program to visit towns in the North West.

The program, funded by FMG, included four visits to Port Hedland over eight weeks during the second school term, with players visiting local schools and hockey clubs.

Hockey Australia commercial manager Shane Tonkin said the visit was a great way for children and students to get into hockey.

“We go into every school in Port Hedland, we have four visits per year in term two, and with those four visits the idea is the kids go from the school into the hockey association here at Hedland,” he said.

“Then hopefully they move to Perth, play club hockey, State hockey for WA and then be the next Hockeyroo or Kookaburra.”

Hockeyroo Stephanie Kershaw and Kookaburra Jack Welch training under 10s from Hedland Hockey.
Camera IconHockeyroo Stephanie Kershaw and Kookaburra Jack Welch training under 10s from Hedland Hockey. Credit: Alexander Scott

Mr Tonkin said the program also involved the players visiting the Hedland Senior High School country week team and training them over the four visits.

Kershaw said the kids loved the visits, noting the clinics had helped motivate her when she was younger.

“When I was growing up in Townsville I remember we had a lot of players come through and it was very exciting and motivating,” she said

Hedland Hockey vice-president Eloise Host said the children got a lot of benefit from the visits, with players showing them skills the local coaches could not show them or were not used to teaching them.

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