HOCKEY Olympian Kate Hollywood is back in Australia after a stint playing in the professional hockey competition in New Zealand — and a special guest at Sutherland Shire Hockey Association's holiday camp today at Sylvania Hockey Park.
Before getting ready to walk the Kokoda Trail, she will be coaching and offering inspiration to a group of young female hockey players.
Hollywood is the best female hockey player the shire has produced. The 26-year-old from Gymea Bay represented the Australian women's team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and won Commonwealth Games gold medals in 2006 and 2010.
After finishing her bachelor's degree in physical education, Hollywood last year played in The Netherlands professionally for Hockey Club Rotterdam, one of the biggest hockey clubs with seven turfs (three water-based and four sand-based).
She was then contracted to play in New Zealand, but is now enjoying having some time out, and helping youngsters.
"I got my start in the shire so I am more than happy to give out some tips and help where I can," said Hollywood, a positive role model to many young girls.
This camp is the start of a new initiative the association has in developing their junior hockey players. The association has brought together 75 of the best junior hockey players aged 15 and under, and selected from the association's competition. They are the representative players for the 2013 season squads.
"The development program will be the foundation in producing skilled junior players in a team environment where they will play at three major carnivals and at state championships in 2013," said camp co-ordinator Justine Maroney.
"These players will then be ready to show off their new skills in the competition with the new association centre at Greenhills, Cronulla, about eight months away. Even coaches, physiotherapists, lecturers and camp staff have been hand-picked from hockey players who live and play in the shire, and we are grateful Kate is giving them some guidance."