Last Wednesday I proudly presented uniforms to the Cairns Regional Hockey Academy Singapore Development Tour squad for 2017. These girls have been preparing and training hard for eight weeks, so it was wonderful to recognise their efforts in front of their friends and families.
Today they are flying to Singapore where they will play two games against the under-23 national program and take part in a range of life-changing cultural experiences.
This is the eighth time a team has travelled to Singapore from Cairns, and it is an incredible opportunity when you consider that the younger girls' average age is about 15½.
The team includes one of Cairns Hockey's very successful Aspire to Be Deadly Program participants, Carleah Flinders, who will be named as captain, demonstrating how the mentoring and leadership elements of the Aspire program are coming together. Congratulations to Carleah. The two senior players are aged over 18. They are also training as mentor coaches.
On the weekend, the squad of 16 will split into two teams to play the Singapore Sixes. In 'Jade' and 'Sapphire' They will reflect the green and the blue of our iconic rainforest and reef.
Thanks to David McNeil, Cairns Hockey regional coaching director and international coach, who is invaluable in sharing his experiences, his skills and his knowledge with the group.
We look forward to seeing the girls return very, very successfully of course, and all the better for that wonderful experience that they will have.