WHILE most Shoalhaven students will be hanging out with friends and indulging in the odd Easter egg these school holidays, two will be sweating it out on the hockey courts of Japan.
Vincentia High School’s Sarah Kenny and Bomaderry High School’s Lachlan Butfield will tour Japan as a part of the NSW Bush Rangers under 18s development squads.
The students depart on Monday for a two week tour that will see them tackle some of Japan’s best hockey teams, as well as develop interpersonal and leadership skills.
After being given the opportunity to trial, the young players attended development camps in Canberra, where final squad selections were made.
For Kenny, the opportunity to compete in Japan was a stroke of luck after she met one of the Bush Ranger coaches while on work experience at Dive Jervis Bay last year.
She was invited to the trial camp in Canberra and impressed selectors enough to earn her ticket to Japan.
The 16-year-old said she also hoped to experience a different level of coaching.
“There will be a lot of games, training and travelling, but I think it will be very competitive and crazy I think,” she said.
“I hope to improve my hockey and overall game. But it will be great to play different teams that we won’t get to experience in Australia.”
Kenny started playing junior hockey for St Georges Basin but has since moved on to play in the South Coast Women’s Competition for Gerringong.
IT will be Butfield’s second trip away with the Bushrangers after he was chosen to tour South Africa last year.
“I just want to improve my hockey a lot more, bring skills to my own team, hopefully win some games and pass those skills down to other people,” he said.
“The trip is more about experience, learning new skills and playing other teams. Winning is a bonus, but we are there to improve our hockey.”
It will be a good release for 17-year-old Butfield, who has just finished his Higher School Certificate half yearly exams.
When he is not studying, Butfield plays for Shoalhaven Heads in the Shoalhaven competition and for Kiama in the Illawarra Wednesday night competition.