For up-and-comers in Orange and other regional areas, being able to learn from a Hockeyroo is an incredible opportunity, there’s no doubting that.
But when that Hockeyroo happens to have be one of your hometown’s greatest sporting products, well, that makes the chance a little bit more special.
That’s exactly the opportunity Orange’s budding superstars have next week, when Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning Hockeyroo Edwina Bone comes home to run her leg of the 2018 Queen’s Baton Relay.
She’ll take the baton from David Howe at 10.34am on Tuesday, on the corner of Summer and Hill Streets, and hand it off to Olympic swimmer Anna Windsor, as it makes its way to the Gold Coast for this year’s Commonwealth Games.
But on Monday, from 3-5pm, Bone will be at Orange Hockey Complex putting the city’s youngsters through their paces.
“It’s a really exciting opportunity for young players in Orange, it’s not often you get the chance to learn from a Hockeyroo who happens to come from your hometown,” Hockey NSW western region coaching coordinator Kate Pulbrook said.
“She’s won a Commonwealth Games gold medal and been to the Olympics, too.
“The thing is, a lot of young players still think if you want to make it you have to go and play in Sydney but Edwina played in Orange, then went to Canberra and has made it from there.
“The pathway through the country is there and I think for a lot of young players being able to meet Eddie, who is proof of that, will really show them that.”
The Canberra Strikers and former Kinross-CYMS star was named in Australia’s squad for 2018 but missed the side’s 1-0 series win over Spain this month after having surgery on her knee last year.
The Hockeyroos’ next task on the road to the Gold Coast is a series against China in February.
Monday’s clinic is for players aged 11-18 and spots are limited, so Pulbrook encourages anyone interested to register via email as soon as possible.
You can do on firstname.lastname@example.org, including the player’s name, age and a contact number – the cost is $35, paid on the day.
There’s also a meet and greet, where everyone’s welcome, from 2pm.