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WaiCol girls barred from hockey final

By Emily Norman
[email protected]
Girls from Wairarapa College’s 1st XI hockey team have been denied a chance to finish off the season by playing in the women’s final.
Dalefield, Gladstone, Featherston, and East Coast clubs, which are all vying to be champions of the Women’s One club competition, are all contenders to be in the club finals on Saturday August 20.
But none will have their Wairarapa College players, despite playing the season, due to a conflicting friendly pre-tournament match the same weekend as finals.
Several coaches have expressed their disappointment with the decision.
When asked about the ruling, Hockey Wairarapa’s Executive Officer Kelly Govan said she received an email from the Wairarapa College 1st XI hockey coach last week saying the girls were not allowed to play in the club finals.
The email said that due to a pre-tournament warm up game against Napier girls the day after club finals, “the girls will not be playing club hockey that weekend”.
The Wairarapa College coach said in her email that, a week before the tournament, she did not want her team being overloaded with games, in a period “where [the girls] are tapering and preparing for a full on week at National Hockey tournament”.
“This is the focal point of our season as both the parents, and girls put a lot time and money into the season and it would be a shame to under-perform.”
Govan said that over the past few years there had been “a little bit of conflict at times” in regards to the scheduling of Hockey Wairarapa games and the timing of the secondary school competition that the colleges go to.
This year, the club hockey season was brought forward so that it would start and finish earlier in order to fit games around college sport.
However, this move has proven unsuccessful.
“Certainly as far as the school is concerned, this is their priority,” said Govan, who respected their decision.
“We can only support the players in whatever environment and whatever team they’re in and we would hope that the two could run smoothly together at the benefit of the players.”
“The only other thing I can say is when I was contacted by the coach to forward this message onto the clubs, I did reply before forwarding the message saying that as far as Hockey Wairarapa was concerned, we are kind of disappointed with this ruling.
“In my view, the girls do play their club hockey and are committed to playing for their clubs and have been all season.
“To be told at this time of the season that potentially there’s a likelihood that some of them might not be able to play in their club final is just disappointing. Disappointing for them. Disappointing for the clubs, and disappointing for the girls involved.”
It is understood there are two Wairarapa College girls playing for Dalefield, one player for Gladstone, four for East Coast including their goalie, and at least one for Featherston.
Discussions are being held between the club coaches and Wairarapa College facilitated by Hockey Wairarapa to resolve the issue.
Govan said a possible “next step” that could be taken is for players and their parents to discuss the issue with the college.
Attempts by the Times-Age to discuss the issue with Wairarapa College yesterday were unsuccessful.

2 COMMENTS

  1. this happened to us along time ago in Nae nae when we were told we could not play the final rugby games for our clubs as we HAD to play for the college. we refused in the end and would not play any sport for the college, they had a very poor year for sport in 1974 and we held our ground even with the threats of suspension being leveled at us, the school has no rights to stop you from finishing you private sporting events ever!

  2. Obviously I am not in command of all the facts but my measured response is that the girls and parents should make this decision; to play or not to play? How cruel for a college to rule in this manner. They allowed ‘their girls’ to fly the College flag throughout the hockey season for their respective clubs who have enhanced and grown their skill levels only to deny them the opportunity to conclude their club season because of the inflexibility of the college coach. Is the coaches ego getting in the way here? Common coach and college, this isn’t about you or the college this should be about the girls being able to finish the business you allowed them to start at the beginning of the season.

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