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Interview with Megan Hull - NZ Hockey representative U16
Megan Hull from Wairarapa College in Masterton (New Zealand) is one of the best Hockey Girls in all New Zealand in her age group. On her 16th Birthday a special, but also well deserved surprise came her way. She was named in the New Zealand Junior Black Sticks squad!
It was at the national under 21-Tournament in Hamilton where she represented the Region “Capital” -Wellington and became fourth with her team. She put up a outstanding performance and was named into the squad to prepare for the Junior World Cup in 2013.
Young Megan grew up on a farm in the Wairarapa around 200 km north-east of Wellington. When she moved to Wairarapa College in Masterton in 2009 she started playing Hockey on a daily basis. Her passion for the sport was discovered very early and her Coach says about Megan: “She's a pretty special talent!"
Thank your very much Megan for having the chance talking to you about your selection into the Junior Black Sticks and combining this with your daily routine in school.
1. Is it really all about talent or are you working hard as well?
I would say 20% talent and 80% hard work is what is needed if I really want to make it to the top. I have always tried to work as hard as I can at trainings because I know they are what are going to benefit me the most. Right now I am training 4 times a week with one game being in chucked in there. If I miss a training I like to go for a bit of a jog to make up for it or I just generally hit the pavements if I’m in the right mood! Rest is really important in my books also so I tend to give myself a couple of days off a week to recover/refresh my body and mind.
2. I have never seen you train hard or play a lot, but you always seemed that well trained! How do you structure your day at your school?
Very lovely of you to say that! Definitely not all true though. I know I need to be putting everything into my trainings but sometimes I am guilty of switching off or being in a bad mood so I don’t train as hard. Something I’m very keen to change! Well being at a boarding school they pretty much structure all my meals for me, which I love to hate…as the food isn’t always great! But I get up for brekky (most important meal so I always try to have something at the beginning of my day), head off to school and try and stick out a full day in class which is always a challenge! After school I normally have training straight away so I head of to that and then after my school training I have u21 capital training in Wellington which means I have to leave school training early to make the hour and a half drive and be on time. That finishes up at about 9 and normally I’m back tucked in bed at about 11. A long day but I’m getting used to having very little sleep these days!
3. Do you have a passion for other sports as well? How did you discover these?
HUGE passion for other sports as well! I’m a wee bit sporting mad. I love and am lucky enough to play tennis, cricket, volleyball, dragon boating, indoor netball, touch rugby, basketball and soccer. If I just played hockey all day long I think I would get sick of it so I reckon it’s really important that I play all these others as well. I basically just try and give everything that I see a go and if I’m okay at it then that’s just a bonus. My life would be incredibly boring without all these sports. Definitely plenty of opportunities to play sports in colleges over here that are that are affordable, to play touch rugby and volleyball I only had to pay $5. The schools are set up for kids to come in and give different sports a go. The ones I named are just a tiny selected few and there are plenty more on offer. There is no way you wouldn’t be able to find a sport you loved, especially going to a bigger high school. I believe we are very lucky over here with all the sports we are offered and the support that is received from teachers, parents and coaches is awesome! People are always encouraging you to give things a go and there are so many things to get involved in. The great thing about the college I’m at is that we tend to be pretty good at the sports we do which always makes that little bit more enjoyable.
4. What does sport in general and Hockey in particular mean to you?
As you can probably tell already it means an incredible lot to me. It’s what I do every afternoon, it’s what I think about during school (keep that quiet) and it’s something that makes me happy. It has made me lifelong friends who I may never have met if it wasn’t for joining a particular team. Hockey in particular is basically what I do, it’s not who I am, but it’s definitely what I do. It means the world to me and for everything that I have put in; it has given me so much back. I love it and ever since I picked up at that stick at the age of 4 I have never looked back. I still get a rush of excitement when I pull my stick out of my hockey bag and I still love the game. I feel very privileged to have been given the opportunity to represent my country in the game I am most definitely devoted to.
5. If you went abroad to visit a school in - let's say – Europe, how important would it be for you to continue playing Hockey with your new class mates?
How awesome would that be! Quite important I think because obviously I would want to continue playing hockey over there and hopefully it would help me to get to know them a lot more and also to meet new people. They could introduce to me to the way they want to play the game and explain to me the in’s and out’s. I think it would make me feel a lot more comfortable and apart of the team.
6. What would you think international students love about NZ schools?
I think the variety which is offered at NZ schools not just sporting wise but academically and culturally. The opportunities to experience lots of new things in such a small country, we are very lucky here to have so many different things in such a small space. A host family could become like second parents or going into a boarding school would mean meeting new people more quickly and potential friends for life.
7. What do you think about international students coming to Wairarapa College?
We have quite a few international students come to our school and every single one that I have talked to have said how much they loved it. Waicol has a great friendliness about it as do many other schools and making the students feel welcome and comfortable is a priority. Everyone makes an effort to say hello the exchange students and they get amongst everything at school which is awesome. We encourage them to talk to the whole school at assemblies to get their face known and share their experiences with everyone else which is always awesome for both them and the other student & teachers.
8. What do you love about your country and think that foreign students would miss, if they didn't join a New Zealand High School!
The freedom and open spaces that we have to offer!! We are such a great country with a lot of pride and knowledge. The people are just so willing to help everyone and this kind nature is what some people find is the best part of NZ. I love that the mountains are close nearby and tramping, hiking or going for a run can be so scenic! Experiencing New Zealand life and culture is something I definitely recommend and I have no doubt in my mind that it would be enjoyed!
That was great, thank you very much Megan. For your career in Hockey and in private life Sport International Exchange wishes you all the best. We are sure we will hear a lot about more about you in the future.
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