Six young Wellingtonians selected for national women's floorball team
Young female Wellingtonians are dominating New Zealand's floorball scene.
Six college players from the region have been selected to represent their country in the Asia-Oceania qualification tournament in Wellington early next year.
Nine teams from the Asia-Oceania region will compete for one of the four qualifying spots to travel to the World Floorball Championships in Slovakia in December 2017.
Rachel Bertschinger, 14 from Samuel Marsden Collegiate School, was selected and has played the sport for almost half her life.
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"My dad started up the club in Wellington so my family got into it through that."
Bertschinger said while she had been involved in the sport for almost seven years, the upcoming competition would be her "biggest one by far".
The hockey-like sport has developed a strong following at club and secondary school level and Bertschinger has been instrumental in getting her peers involved during the summer sports season.
"I started up the school league at Samuel Marsden and I've got a lot of my friends into it now which is cool.
"It's quite a fast-paced sport and it's quite a good social sport if you don't want to play something super-competitive."
Her father and Floorball New Zealand general secretary Christian Bertschinger said at the junior level the sport was strongest in Wellington, with only a handful of players outside the capital selected for the national competition team.
"The younger ones who have played for the last four or five years are picking it up really quickly.
"They're young and fit and fast, so they are obviously pushing for those spots in the team, so that's why we've got quite a few young players.
He said the selected players were "a testament to the strong development of floorball in New Zealand over the past few years".
"It's a really good sign for the future of the sport."
* The Asia-Oceania qualification tournament for 2017 World Floorball Championships runs for six days from January 31 until February 5 in Wellington.