Two of Lithgow’s up and coming hockey stars will represent NSW at the 2017 Pacific Schools Games for the first time.
Nathan Marshall, in Year 6 at St Patrick’s School, and Emily Thompson, in Year 9 at MacKillop College, have been selected for the NSW primary boys (under 12s) and NSW secondary girls (under 16s) teams who will compete against Australian state teams and international teams from around pacific region at the games.
Nathan and Emily will travel to Adelaide in the first week of December to compete at the peak Australian school sports games.
For Nathan, it will be his first experience representing New South Wales in hockey. The centre half and right inner player has been swinging a hockey stick since he was three, following in the footsteps of his two older sisters who have also represented the state in hockey.
“It’s really exciting, I can’t wait for it,” Nathan said.
Nathan knows two of his teammates in the games after representing the Polding Catholic schools district at the primary school state championships last year.
Hockey is definitely a family affair for the Marshalls. Nathan plays in the primary Jays team in the Lithgow competition, who won their grand final against Workies Gold on Saturday, September 16.
Nathan’s mother, Lyndal Marshall and sisters also play together. His father David Marshall is the coach of the Lithgow Workies Panthers.
Emily Thompson is not new to playing hockey for NSW, having represented the state in outdoor and indoor competitions since she was 12.
The midfielder and striker, however, has not travelled to South Australia before.
“I’m very excited, it’s a good experience to play interstate,” Emily said.
“I’m not too nervous at the moment, it’s not my first time representing NSW. That made me nervous, just a tad.”
Emily will join another Lithgow hockey star, Hannah Kable, in the secondary girls team. The pair played together for Panthers in the premier league this year.
Emily also played in Lithgow’s local grand finals last weekend for the secondary Workies Whites, who beat Jays 1-0.
Emily said she hopes to continue training with representative squads over her hockey career.
“It would be nice to represent Australia,” she said.
Emily Thompson and Nathan Marshall will be joined by sisters Lily and Hannah Kable in the NSWs schools teams at the Pacific School Games.
They will compete with school teams representing all of Australia’s states and territories as well as up to 15 international squads.