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WaiCol defends decision to keep girls from final

By Emily Norman
[email protected]
Wairarapa College is standing by its decision to keep their 1st XI hockey girls from playing in club finals this month.
Dalefield, Gladstone, Featherston, and East Coast are all contenders to play in the Women’s One club competition final on August 20.
But Wairarapa College have said their students cannot play in the club final, despite playing the season, due to a conflicting friendly pre-tournament match the same weekend.
Acting principal Peter Gould contacted the Wairarapa Times-Age yesterday, responding to the issue, saying Wairarapa College “welcomes and encourages club involvement by our students, provided it does not conflict with their school sport”.
He said the timing of the club final game was “unfortunate” and conflicted with the date of the girls playing a strong hockey school in a pre-tournament preparation game the next day.
The Wairarapa College 1st XI team are past winners of the Federation Cup, which is competed for at the competition, he said.
“As past winners there are playing standards to uphold.
“This tournament is the focal point of their season.
“The girls need to be at their peak for this… The extra game just before tournament week would sap their energy and limit the usefulness of the arranged game played just a day later against the other school.”
Mr Gould said hockey at Wairarapa College was at an “elite level” and “to continue at this level we need a clear plan and build up programme”.
He said school sport and playing for school teams “always takes priority for our students”, and Wairarapa College had a process where students could apply for an exemption at the start of season to play for the club, in whatever code it may be.
“These applications are generally approved, as often the timing of practices and games does not conflict with school sport,” he said.
“We have approved many such and in my time here I have not declined any.”
He said exemptions had not been applied for by the students affected in this case, or formally granted.
“Wairarapa College will continue to support hockey in the district and the promotion of and participation in it,” he said.
“In summary, the school’s priority of course remains its participation in school sport and we hope to maintain the performance of Wairarapa College as one of the top performing hockey schools in New Zealand.
“And we will continue to co-operate with club sport wherever we can.”


  1. I’m from another part of the country a long way from Wairarapa.
    The great achievements of the Wairarapa College girls hockey teams over years need acknowledgment.

    A state school, not a massive one, competing well against much bigger schools and those with great resources is fantastic. Many of the private schools scour the country selecting the best players. (I’m not sure whether WC does that.) That a state school, a co-ed school does so well defies trends and gives hope to others through the country.

    Good luck to Wairarapa, I hope they win the Fed Cup.

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