Tumut hockey players shine at Regional Challenge

Mia McLaren, Katherine Cole and Matilda Connolly enjoying their time at the Bathurst Regional Challenge.

Tumut hockey players Mia McLaren, Katherine Cole and Matilda Connolly have spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Bathurst, representing the Riverina Heat in the Fi-Ta Regional Challenge.

Playing for the under 13s in the Hockey NSW centre of development program, the Tumut girls performed admirably and would eventually help Riverina to lift the overall championship trophy.

11-year-old Mia McLaren enjoyed the experience and highlighted some of her favourite parts.

“It felt good to know that I’ve improved and learned new skills,” Mia said.

“The tournament was really fun and I made lots of new friends, who hopefully I get to see next year and I’m glad I did it and the weeks of training was definitely worth it.”

The Tumut High School student would also be recognised for her efforts on and off the pitch, being awarded the Riverina Heat medal for the under 13s.

“I was really happy and surprised with myself, and felt all my efforts and travelling to Wagga every week was worth it; I was super excited as well,” Mia said.

The three hockey players journey to Bathurst was tough though, with weekly training commencing way back in September, which involved Friday afternoon sessions in Wagga.

Additionally, the commitment of the girls and their families was also highlighted with weekend training camps held in the lead up to the Regional Challenge.

Riverina Heat coach Pat O’Donnell was proud of the girls and their overall improvement throughout their time with the centre of development program.

“They played nine games throughout the weekend and worked through Hockey NSW principles, while showcasing the new skills they had learned,” O’Donnell said.

“They showed great improvement from start to finish and they demonstrated great citizenship and represented Tumut well.”

The three talented hockey players will now turn their attention to the upcoming Tumut and District Hockey season and their commitments in the Wagga hockey competition.