Linwood/Te Aratai College Hockey
Former 3H1 Linwood High School pupil and Olympic Hockey player John Radovonich is behind the growth and enthusiasm for developing a hockey programme at Linwood College, soon to be known as Te Aratai College.
A former New Zealand Hockey Captain who played over 100 tests for his country, John has coached extensively since retiring as a player, and his coaching experience extends to success at both the Rankin Cup for secondary school boys and the Federation Cup for girls, as well as numerous national age group titles with Canterbury Rep teams.
John became focused on helping his old school regain their hockey status, starting in 2019 with providing hockey as an option for students at the school. Now with 2022 just around the corner the aim is to have both a boys’ and girls’ 1st Eleven competing in the Canterbury competition whilst also continuing a strong hockey programme for year 7 and 8 students.
The focus of the programme is to build a long term sustainable hockey programme that will ensure Te Aratai College becomes a powerhouse in the sport in the years ahead.
To that end, John will receive support in 2022 from former NZ Black stick men and women. Cathy Baker will coach the Girls 1st Eleven in 2022. Cathy has won numerous national titles with both underage girls’ and boys’ teams, as well as coaching very successfully at senior level. Andrew Hastie will be assisting with the Boys 1st Eleven and has also been a highly successful Canterbury Men’s coach, as well as being a nationally ranked coach for many years. With the large network John has developed over a lifetime in hockey, there are many other former Black Sticks, Olympians, and alumni from Linwood College who have put their hands up to help with the hockey programme.
Linwood College teachers and former hockey players Charlotte Cottrell and Scott Kyle have played critical roles in coordinating the hockey programme and are both excellent coaches whilst the school principal, Principal Dick Edmundson, has supported and greatly assisted our progress.
Winning titles is great, and John believes this will happen. The key focus, however, of the Te Aratai hockey programme, is to allow these students to become better people, giving them a sense of belonging allowing them to perform to the best of their ability, and in doing so, grow their self-belief, to make sound choices beyond hockey.