AIMS GAMES: Taradale Intermediate goes back-to-back with hockey gold medal

Taradale Intermediate claimed gold for the second year running in the mixed 6-a-side hockey final at the 2019 Anchor AIMS Games.

Taradale, from Hawke’s Bay, beat Auckland’s Bucklands Beach Intermediate, 8-3, while almost 600 students watched the match on livestream in the Taradale Intermediate hall.

Sports coordinator Kirsten Demanser-Wilson said the school was mad about hockey, and many parents left Hawke’s Bay early on Friday morning to drive 3.5 hours each way to be turf-side for the final..

Year 8 Adrian Dixon only started playing hockey this year – and now has a gold medal.

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As he played, he said he felt the support of the school community.

“It’s good that all the whole school is backing us, even if they are not here. And all our supporters out there just motivating us, keep us going for the last minutes.”

In the inaugural boys’ 6-a-side hockey final, Hillview Christian School beat New Plymouth’s Highlands Intermediate, 4-3.

Head of sport Paul Norton said about a quarter of the school’s 100 intermediate age-students were at the Games.

The final was livestreamed to classrooms back at school in Christchurch, and Norton said that support and vocal sideline encouragement was invaluable in getting his team the win.

“It encourages them, it inspires them. It’s absolutely massive,” Norton said.

Tournament director Vicki Semple also recognised Hillview’s exceptional sideline sportsmanship, awarding the school a $500 Night & Day supporter prize to go towards its PE budget.

The Hillview contingent’s goal for the Games had been to make lots of friends at AIMS. The girls’ 6-a-side team made great friends with their opposition from Raroa Intermediate, and both teams went out for dinner together after their game.

Hillview parent Alison Cook said: “It’s just what we wanted from AIMS Games, for our children to have that friendship. We’ve loved the whole experience.”

Otumoetai Intermediate won the inaugural girls’ 6-a-side hockey event, beating Kristin School 3-1.

Rosmini College beat Northcross Intermediate, 1-0, in the boys’ 11 final, while the girls’ event was won by Heaton Normal Intermediate which beat Cobham Intermediate School 2-0.