Eighteen athletes have been selected as part of the New Zealand Women’s Hockey Team to compete at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games late next month.
The team is:
- Co-captain Olivia Merry
- Co-captain Megan Hull
- Kaitlin Cotter
- Anna Crowley
- Stephanie Dickins
- Katie Doar
- Alia Jaques
- Tyler Lench
- Alex Lukin
- Grace O'Hanlon
- Hope Ralph
- Brooke Roberts
- Olivia Shannon
- Rose Tynan
- Frances Davies
- Tarryn Davey
- Ani Haumaha
- Tessa Jopp
Taking place in Birmingham, the Games will see the defending gold medalists take on Australia, South Africa, Kenya and Scotland in the group stages.
The team includes four of the athletes who were part of the gold medal winning squad at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Interim head coach Darren Smith says the young team will draw on their veterans experience as they compete at the highest level.
“This is an exciting time for our women’s programme with quite a young team as we look to rebuild a little bit. However, the 18 we have selected are all incredibly talented and more than capable of going toe-to-toe with any side in the world,” said Smith.
“There will be some real tests, but I have a lot of belief in our young group to give some cracking performances and stamp their mark at international level. This is where heroes are made and I’m sure all of New Zealand will be right behind them.”
The squad selection also highlights the remarkable return of Aniwaka Haumaha (nee Roberts). Haumaha, had not represented NZ in hockey for seven years until getting a call up to face Australia in a recent series. Now the mother of two is ready for her first Commonwealth Games experience.
“This doesn’t happen to everybody, especially after having two little kids,” said Haumaha.
“I didn’t finish the first part of my career as I wanted to, and the fire was still in my belly so I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity to compete in Birmingham.”
NZOC CEO Nicki Nicol extended her congratulations to the athletes.
“Well done to all the athletes named today, we’re thrilled to have you in the New Zealand Team,” said Nicol.
“New Zealand has a proud hockey history at the Commonwealth Games and we look forward to watching you add to that legacy next month in Birmingham.”
The New Zealand Women’s Hockey Team will take on Kenya in their first match on July 29th.
Madison Doar, Ella Hyatt Brown, Casey Crowley, Catherine Tinning, Tayla White, Kirsten Nation, Louisa Tuilotolava and Deanna Ritchie have been named as reserves.
The naming takes the total number of athletes currently selected to the New Zealand Team for Birmingham 2022 to 117.