Megan Winsloe follows in family footsteps

DON WRIGHT
Last updated 05:00 26/04/2014

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Memories of the glory days of Eastern Southland women's hockey in the mid-1950s K Cup era have been rekindled by New Zealand senior attacking mid Megan Winsloe's involvement with the New Zealand senior team.

The 20-year-old is a granddaughter of the late Ngaire Collins who played for the equivalent Black Sticks team in 1956 from Eastern Southland which won the K Cup in 1952, 1954 and 1956.

Winsloe, from Gore, plays for the Riversdale club and fellow Eastern Southland player Brenda Hope, of Gore, for the Mataura Club.

They have recently returned from Napier where they represented the New Zealand senior women's team at an affiliate tournament held in conjunction with the Black Sticks International Six Nations Tournament at the Festival of Hockey.

The national senior women's team, coached by Kirsten Petrie, won 50 per cent of its high profile matches against New Zealand India, New Zealand Maori, Australian Country, New Zealand Masters and Hawke's  Bay.

Considering the team only had a day to come together before the tournament, the team was considered to have played outstandingly well.

The national team played six matches in only four days. The team was selected from the national women's tournament in Auckland last year.

Eastern Southland's two attacking mids have proved the sport for women in Eastern, Northern and the Southland province as a whole is still alive.

They were indebted to main sponsor MLT which was anxious to preserve the district's reputation for producing top level women players.

Vet South where Megan is employed as a vet nurse, also chipped in to assist. Her support team included her Knapdale parents Lynne and Ellis Winsloe and her paternal grandmother Lesley Winsloe, widow of former champion thoroughbred  trainer Ted Winsloe, who topped the national premiership on three occasions in the 1960s, and daughter of another Southland racing icon the late Fred Ellis.

Megan said from a young age she always aspired to represent  her country and emulate her grandmother's achievements but never thought it was going to happen with the odds somewhat against her after being prejudiced two significant operations for hand and knee injuries.

However, she and Brenda Hope, a Gore-based mother of three, would continue to strive for the highest honours.

New Zealand Hockey Association confirmed yesterday that Megan had been selected from the affiliate tournament into the New Zealand women's President's XI team to play in the Oceania Pacific Cup in Suva, in December this year.

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Megan's grandmother, who passed on in 2007 aged 74, played for the country's foremost women's team in Australia in 1956. She was long acclaimed as a speedy and aggressive centre forward.

Ngaire's only daughter Lynne, who had four brothers, was a prominent equestrian personality, precluding sufficient spare time to play hockey to any extent.

Her husband Ellis, the ex-president of the Gore Racing Club, has followed in his father's footsteps as a competent trainer, Great Northern Hurdles winner Kidunot and champion filly Tartan Tights being two of his best.

- Southland

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