Lung condition no barrier for hockey goalie

ACTION: St Andrew's College hockey goalie is the only South Islander in her position in the National under-18 talent ID squad. Photo: Canterbury Hockey.

A lung condition hasn’t stopped St Andrew’s College goalie Georgia Bonne from achieving her aspirations in the sport.

The 16-year-old was one of 12 Cantabrians named in the boys and girls national under-18 talent squads to attend a camp in Auckland in October.

Out of six goalkeepers in the squad, she is the only one from the South Island.

“Back in year 7 when I was at St Margaret’s, I was playing in the field and I was trialling for teams, but I wasn’t very fit and with my lung condition my coach realised that I probably wasn’t going to make rep teams,” Georgia said.

“I was asked if I’d try goalie and I just loved it.”

It’s fair to say Georgia’s fitness has improved since she has gone on to be a New Zealand age-group representative in volleyball.

Georgia was on a volleyball trip to Thailand in the weeks leading up to the national under-18 hockey tournament which hampered her preparation.

“To be honest, I was thinking I’d be the reserve goalie for Canterbury because I was the youngest one there, but I ended up starting in that tournament,” she said.

Canterbury were runners-up in the tournament, losing the final in a penalty shoot-out.

Georgia said she was eager to test herself against the best age-group talent in the country and she wasn’t afraid to speak up if her defence needed it.

“I’m a competitive person so I will say my bit, but off the field it’s all good . . . it’s just the game.

“The camp is a chance to see where I’m at nationally and work on things I need to improve on,” she said.

Georgia believes playing volleyball and being a goalie helps her athleticism in both sports.

“Hockey isn’t as physical as volleyball but I use the same skills to block shots as I do diving on the volleyball court so it works well for me,” she said.

Canterbury players in the national under-18 talent squad

Harrison Darling (Fendalton-Avon), Nick Lidstone (Carlton-Redcliffs), Oscar Nation (Harewood), Jayden Rokowitz (Harewood) and Simon Yorston (Hornby); Bella Ambrosius (Harewood), Emily Baker (Marist), Hayley Cox (HSOB-Burnside), Charlotte Lee (Harewood), Abby Lennon (Harewood), Brittany Wang (Rangi Ruru/Rangiora).