It’s an exciting time for Lithgow’s Rene Hunter, who will be flying to Santiago, Chile next month to compete in the Junior World Cup.
After impressing teammates, coaches and talent scouts alike, Hunter was picked out of the bunch to represent her country while playing in the Australian Hockey League in Perth recently.
The Junior World Cup is the hockey competition where players become Olympians, and Hunter is ready to make her mark.
Hunter said she got the email confirming her position on the team when she got off her flight home from Perth, and it’s the culmination of years of work.
“The [Australian] Junior World Cup squad gets reselected every year and so for the last two years the squad has stayed the same,” she said.
“We’ve been training with numerous camps throughout the year, we’ll have practise games where we verse New Zealand… so there’s been a series of buildups.”
Hunter said she felt relief when she received the email and that all her hard work had been worth it.
“It’s been my major goal for the past two years.”
She even received praise from Australia’s goalkeeper coach, who went out of his way to congratulate Hunter after she got the news.
For Hunter, the game has become as much about strategy as it is action.
Over the past few years, she said she’s learned the importance of reading the field.
“I’m really proud of myself on understanding structuring and strategy play.
“I also think for a goalkeeper, you’ve got to be aggressive… I swear a lot,” she said while laughing.
She’ll also be playing with some familiar faces, as NSW has nine people on the team including her.
“We’ve been as a big squad of 24 for two years, so we have had the chance to play with each other and know each other.”
Hunter would like to thank her coaches and her family for making all her dreams possible.