Chad selected to represent New Zealand

Chad pictured right

Chad pictured right

The hard work and dedication has paid off for Waiuku’s Chad Whitehead, as the talented hockey player has recently been selected for the Future Black Sticks U23 squad.

The 23 year old picked up his first hockey stick at the age of eight, and began playing for Kohekohe Hockey Club.

Chad’s long standing relationship with Counties Manukau Hockey began when he represented the association at U11 age group. He has since progressed through the ranks, qualifying and playing in Midlands Representative Hockey teams until 2013, where he was selected to represent New Zealand as a non Travelling reserve for the New Zealand U21 team.
Since then, Chad has continued to be selected for Midlands Hockey and regularly trains with the Black Sticks squad and takes part in their practice games. He is also part of the Pathway to Podium programme, an initiative presented by High Performance NZ to educate young athletes and to provide them with the support they need to take the next step in their career.
The New Zealand Futures U23 National team is set to travel to Australia in mid November to compete in a tournament against the Australian U23 squad.
Chad says that being selected for the National team has been incredibly rewarding.
“I am absolutely rapt to have been selected and be given the chance to go overseas to compete, it seems like my hard work has paid off. I have been so well supported by Counties and Kohekohe over the years, and am looking forward to making them proud.”
Peter van Breugel of Kohekohe Hockey Club says that Counties Manukau Hockey Association should be very proud of the fact that Chad has done all of this while remaining actively involved at club level hockey.
“While others have gone on from playing for Counties at an early age, only to leave our association and then play representative hockey, Chad has, and still is, playing here.”
For Chad, playing hockey has always been for the love of the sport and says that he gets great enjoyment by playing for Kohekohe Club.
“They have really looked after me, and I enjoy being part of such a great club.”
Chad has had to find $3000 to travel with the team. With the help from Peter, who pledged $500 himself, they have found the support from local businessman, Flemming Rasmussen, and his company Solarix Networks, who will match dollar for dollar raised.
Chad has also received support from Atlas Hockey NZ and Waiuku Rugby and Youth Development, which he says has helped him incredibly throughout the hockey seasons.
“We are almost there with fundraising, and I am so appreciative of everyone who has helped me this far in my hockey career. I’m lucky to have my mum, dad, hockey club and sponsors all backing me. I am really looking forward to November.”
When Chad isn’t playing hockey, he is working full time at the Glenbrook Steel Mill as an apprentice.

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