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TeamAus hockey stars spent part of their Good Friday visiting sick children at the Gold Coast University Hospital.
By Ashley Gillespie
Daniel Beale, Jacob Whetton, Jodie Kenny and Renee Taylor came bearing chocolates and gifts and spent time laughing and talking with the children; they also signed autographs and posed for photos with the sick kids, who could not be home for Easter.
Debutant Renee Taylor, was among the group and spoke to the media, “Being able to come in here and brighten their day is definitely something I feel privileged to do.”
“These little kids are struggling, while we’re sitting in the athlete’s village having the time of our life – something that is almost life changing for us – they’re at the other end of the spectrum, and it’s very life changing for them,” the 21 year old said.
Kookaburras’ star Whetton was excited to visit the hospital, “Visiting the kids brightens their day and hopefully puts a smile on their faces, and they can put a smile on ours!”
The Hockeyroos will be gunning for a fourth straight Games gold medal on the Gold Coast, but will have to buck the rankings to do so – they’re currently ranked fifth in the world – below England (2nd) and New Zealand (4th). Even so, the pressure is on to win gold on home turf.
The top-ranked Kookaburras, led by retiring veteran Mark Knowles, are in good form and aiming for an unprecedented sixth-straight gold, “There was a change in coaching and players after Rio and the new style has been a challenge; we’ve taken on the challenge and we’ve seen some success in India
and Malaysia. It gives us good confidence,” said Whetton.
The hockey action kicks off at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre on Thursday 5 April. After preliminary face offs in pool matches, the advancing teams from both Pools A and B will play the medal matches on Saturday 14 April.
The Kookaburras are in Pool A in the men’s draw alongside New Zealand (ninth), Canada (11th), South Africa (15th) and Scotland (23rd). The Hockeyroos are in Pool B in the women’s draw alongside New Zealand (fourth), Scotland (18th), Canada (21st) and Ghana (30th).
— Hockeyroos (@Hockeyroos) March 30, 2018