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Underwater Hockey: Tauranga's Impressive Talent Pool

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Underwater Hockey: Tauranga's Impressive Talent Pool

The high proportion of Tauranga players making New Zealand teams is testimony to how strong the sport of underwater hockey is in the region.

Georgia Coughlan, Kirsty Burrows, Courtney Coughlan (NZ Under-22), Jerusha Keightley, Jordan Ross, Emma Byrom and Guy Roberts (NZ Under-18) have all been selected to take on Australia in the Age Group Transtasman Competition to be held in Hobart in July.

It will be a notable occasion for the Coughlan sisters, who have never played in the same team together.

"I was quite excited because I knew my sister was trialling for the team so I thought I would trial as well with her to see if I could get in," Georgia said.

Georgia, 17, is the youngest selected in the under-22 team.

She says she will draw on the experience she gained in the New Zealand Under-19 side that won silver at last year's World Cup held in Spain, where six Tauranga Underwater Hockey club members were part of the men's and women's under-19 teams.

"It was crazy. One of the biggest things was how I could deal with the pressure of everything because it was quite nerve wracking playing all the games over there.

"I think it is a good thing going into an older age grade with having a little bit of experience and just knowing how to deal with things within yourself."

New Zealand is regarded internationally as a powerhouse of underwater hockey.

Photo: Bay of Plenty Times

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