Emerging hockey star Dylan Thomas is hoping a lack of funds won’t stop him competing in an important international tournament being held in the Netherlands in July.
The EIT degree student from Jervoistown has been selected for a national team contesting an invitational under-21 tournament for six leading age-group countries – Germany, Belgium, England, India and the Netherlands as well as New Zealand.
“It’s a really high quality tournament with no easy teams,” the second-year Bachelor of Recreation and Sport student enthuses. “”It will be full-on.”
Dylan started playing hockey at the age of nine and for all but two years, when he was a midfielder for Hastings Boys’ High School, he has been a striker.
“I like scoring goals,” he says.
After leaving school, Dylan decided that if he wanted to play for New Zealand one day, he needed to learn all he could about sport performance while also optimising his career prospects.
The 19-year-old student is finding EIT “great fun”.
Lecturers understand the challenges involved in training and competing in tournaments, he says, and they support students as they strive to balance their study and sporting commitments.
Hockey has taken Dylan overseas on four occasions. He’s been on two under-18 Australian tours, travelled to Vanuatu for the Youth Olympic qualifiers and competed last year in the Youth Olympic Games in China.
However, there’s scant funding available for this country’s hockey players, he says, unlike some of the other major sporting codes. He needs $6000 for the 10-day trip to Europe, and while working and coaching to raise the money, he’s also hoping for a lifeline that will help ensure he joins his team-mates.