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Former TGHS student Jenna-Rae McIntyre makes U21 NZ hockey squad

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Jenna-Rae McIntyre will play in the 2021 North-South tournament/trial in Hamilton which resulted in her being selected for the Under 21 NZ hockey squad to go to the Junior World Cup in South Africa in December.

Ned Dawson/Planet Hockey Photography

Jenna-Rae McIntyre will play in the 2021 North-South tournament/trial in Hamilton which resulted in her being selected for the Under 21 NZ hockey squad to go to the Junior World Cup in South Africa in December.

Jenna-Rae McIntyre was born into a hockey family, so it’s no surprise that the former Timaru Girls High School student has been selected for the New Zealand Under-21 hockey squad.

The 20-year-old, now based in Christchurch, said it was one of her dreams to join the squad and she was excited.

Squad means she will hopefully head to the Junior World Cup in South Africa in December, subject to the borders opening. A final decision will be made by NZ Hockey after the Tokyo Olympics in early August.

I’ve probably been interested in hockey since I was born. It’s been a part of life. My (paternal) grandfather coached; my grandmother (mother’s side) played, and my mother and her two sisters. My aunts still play.

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When McIntyre was in year 12, she also started playing rugby while her father and brother played.

I enjoyed touch rugby and thought it couldn’t be much else.

Although she got a muscle soreness, she has no regrets when she made the Hanan Shield schoolgirls team for the South Island tournament in 2017.

I loved every minute.

The following year she decided to focus solely on hockey and in order to get the best opportunities, she moved to Christchurch and attended Rangi Ruru Girls School for Year 13.

Jenna-Rae McIntyre in action during the North v South series in Hamilton in early 2021.

Ned Dawson/Planet Hockey Photography

Jenna-Rae McIntyre in action during the North v South series in Hamilton in early 2021.

With different levels of coaching available, she was eventually noticed by Hockey NZ coach Aaron Ford, who invited her to training sessions and he still coaches her.

McIntyre thanks her TGHS hockey coaches, Bruce Rayner and Tim Greenall, as well as Timaru Boys High School coach Ben Grant for helping her develop while in Timaru.

She plays for the Carlton Redcliffs in Christchurch while being called up to the Central Falcons for the 2020 Premier Hockey League where she scored a goal in a 3-1 win over the Northern Tridents in the final.

When she’s not training or playing, she works at Silver Fern Farms in the second butcher shop.

Jenna-Rae McIntyre, right, celebrates her goal in the Premier Hockey League final for the Central Falcons with Felicity Reidy in November 2020.

Ned Dawson/Planet Hockey Photography

Jenna-Rae McIntyre, right, celebrates her goal in the Premier Hockey League final for the Central Falcons with Felicity Reidy in November 2020.

Her day starts at 6:45 am and she works six days a week until 2:45 pm, does knife work and packing, then goes to the gym, has something to eat, goes to a training session and then sleeps until the next day when it all starts again.

My ultimate goal is to go abroad, travel and play a few seasons in Europe. My next goal is to participate in the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Although her family regularly travels to Christchurch to watch her matches, she returns to Timaru this week to train at some schools.

Jenna-Rae McIntyre, front row third from left, in the 2017 Hanan Shield school girls rugby union team.

Mytchall Bransgrove/Stuff

Jenna-Rae McIntyre, front row third from left, in the 2017 Hanan Shield school girls rugby union team.

Hockey NZ’s performance network manager, Simon Brill, said on his website that the under-21 team is particularly important for the long-term development of athletes.

Competitive opportunities are an essential part of a player’s long-term development. It gives us the chance to check in at this level against the best in the world. While the Junior World Cups themselves are spectacular, it’s the lessons we take home that have a real impact.

After the National Under-18 tournament in July and the National Hockey Championships in September, the two Under-21 rosters (men and women) can be supplemented.

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