High achievers give back

23:30, Jun 12 2012
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Estella Tyrell, 7, has Petrea Webster sign her shirt.
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Zoe Luffman, 8, has her shirt signed by Petrea Webster.
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Nicole Bussell, 9, has her arm signed by Petrea Webster.
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Petrea Webster and Anita Punt surrounded by fans
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Anita Punt signs a shirt
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Discussing their future as potential Black Sticks
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Saint Mary's School v Renwick School.
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Bella Rose, 9, from Renwick School.
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Goalie Moana MacDonald, 7, from Seddon School.
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Ollie Morton, 9, St Mary's and William Hammond, 10, from Renwick.

Black Sticks women's hockey players Petrea Webster and Anita Punt were in Blenheim yesterday as part of Hockey New Zealand's Olympic Festival programme.

The programme gives aspiring youngsters a chance to meet a couple of Black Sticks, have photographs taken with them and ask questions about their Olympic journey.

College Park was a hive of activity all afternoon, the players spending time with a large group of year 1 and 2 students first, before nearly 400 year 3 to 6 students had a chance to meet their heroines. Webster and Punt said it was not often they had had the opportunity to get out among the smaller hockey communities, and both thoroughly enjoyed their afternoon and were pleasantly surprised by the number of juniors who came along.

A Nelsonian, Punt said it was great for the chance to let young players know that even though if they came from a smaller town, they could make it all the way.

The Blacks Sticks NZ women's team for the London Olympics will be announced on Friday. Both players were nervous and agreed their trip to Blenheim was "a good distraction".

Departing Marlborough hockey development officer Brent Edwards said it was "the first time in a long time" Marlborough had been part of such an initiative.

He was optimistic it would help maintain the momentum and growth they had already generated in the junior grades.

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The Marlborough Express