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Children gear up during holidays thanks to local club

9 January 2013
Children gear up during holidays thanks to local club

Dozens of Wellington children have embraced inline hockey as a summer holiday sport, thanks to the Rimutaka Inline Hockey Club. A new holiday programme – Hockey on Wheels – was launched by the club in Tawa, Naenae and Taita this month.

Inline hockey is a relatively new sport in New Zealand but is fast being taken up by children who might already have basic skating skills.

The Rimutaka Inline Hockey Club launched Hockey on Wheels earlier this year, offering primary schools the opportunity for children to try the sport in-school for free. With funding from KiwiSport through Sport Wellington the club visits primary schools, taking along with 30 sets of inline hockey equipment, from skates to helmets and everything in between. Trained coaches guide children through a basic inline hockey fun and skills sessions.

As a follow-up, inline hockey summer camps are being held in Naenae and Tawa in the first two weeks of January, attracting dozens of children both new to skating and those who want to practise their newly-learnt skills. A third camp at Taita Community Centre will be held from 28 January – 1 February.

Hockey on Wheels regional coordinator Sandy Nimmo says kids who have never been on skates before are participating. “So they are getting a lot of help, almost one-on-one from the instructors. Kids love inline hockey. There’s always lots of activity and noise but they love gearing up and experiencing the sport,” she says.

The Club has imported professional inline hockey player Dave Hammond as head coach. Dave is the current Team Canada Inline Hockey captain and has spent the last three years in Namibia playing and coaching the sport.
“I’m very excited to get involved in growing inline hockey in New Zealand at a grass roots level. I want to share and grow the sport in new places with new people,” he says.

Inline hockey – a non-contact version of ice hockey - is huge in North America and offers the basic locomotor skills of sliding and striding as well as those of stability, manipulation and coordination. The KiwiSport programme aims to introduce inline hockey to 9000 children in the Wellington region by the end of 2013.

KiwiSport Manager Peter Woodman-Aldridge says many Kiwi kids already have basic skating skills. “With the introduction of Hockey on Wheels to this age group, these children will have the opportunity to take their skating to a whole new level. KiwiSport aims to get more children playing sport regularly, through numerous programmes which introduce or consolidate many different codes.”

For more information about the holiday programmes contact Sandy at inlinehockey@orcon.net.nz

ENDS

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