Hayley's aiming for the gold

THIERRY THOMAS
Last updated 12:00 07/08/2012
Hayley Hutana
ROBERT KITCHIN/Fairfax NZ
OLYMPIC DREAMS: Hayley Hutana, of Feilding, hopes rugby will take her far.

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A iming to be an Olympic athlete is a big goal for any sportsperson, but it's a goal Feilding High School student Hayley Hutana has in her sights.

At 16, she has dreams of competing in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro for the New Zealand women's sevens team.

"It's going to take a lot of training to get there."

Her passion for rugby comes from having two elder brothers. She used to play the game with them in the backyard.

"They still play today, but because they work a lot, they don't find the time to always do it."

For the past four years, she has played in her school rugby team, coached by the head of physical education teacher, Rob Jones.

"Sports is really what drives me, but especially rugby," Hayley says. "That's the sport that I really want to go far in."

This year, Hayley had her first of many trials for the New Zealand women's sevens training squad.

For her first trial, she had to do only one fitness test.

"I think they just want to keep an eye on me and keep retesting me."

She has had two callbacks, but her plate is relatively full at present, with other tournaments and events happening in her rugby club.

"We have a big tournament coming up, the regionals for women, and both the big coaches are coming down to meet me and then they're just going to watch me when I play and see how I go there."

Mr Jones says Hayley's first testing was when she took part in the New Zealand Rugby Union Go4Gold programme.

"Basically they [the NZRU] went around the country doing trials and what that was was a fitness test," he says. "That was in every provincial union and they tested over 1000 girls."

From those girls, only 49 are selected for academies. This is where Hayley got her spot in the Manawatu Women's Sevens Academy.

"She's in the right environment," says Mr Jones. "She's getting looked at and she's got the opportunities to make it to the next level, which is good."

Although she isn't there yet, the Manawatu academy has said she has the potential to join the group next year.

On top of playing for her school and the academy, Hayley also plays for Manawatu in the women's NPC.

She plays several positions, depending on what team she is turning out for.

When she is with the NPC team, she is either in midfield or on the wing. When she plays for the women's sevens academy, she is either halfback or first five-eighth.

Throughout her trial for the training, she received support from her school and club rugby teams.

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Hayley will attend a two to three-day training camp towards the end of this month.

- Manawatu Standard

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