Gus Murray: Soccer / Hockey
A bit about me:
I was born in December 1998 in South Africa but then spent my first year and a half of life in Botswana. After dad’s teaching contract ended in Orapa (in the middle of the desert) we moved to New Zealand and spent the next 18 months in Auckland. Mum and dad decided that Auckland was way too big so dad got a job teaching in Taupo. We have been here ever since! I went to Hilltop School and tried every sport I could while I was there. I enjoy competition and being fit and active. I completed the William Pike Awards last year and loved climbing the mountains. I climbed up Mount Ngauruhoe again last weekend.
This has been a very busy 2 months for me. I have been selected to play hockey for the U15 Bay of Plenty/ Tauranga team. I will be attending Nationals in October which will be held in Napier. I am excited about playing at this age level . After being selected I have been practicing non-stop with my new hockey stick which I have bought with my scholarship money.
The second half of the College football season is going great. We have had satisfying wins against bigger and older teams which have beaten us previously. Our team has shown more composure and have developed as a team especially under pressure.
FTC training in Tauranga is going well. We have our next Federation game day in September which will most likely be held in Rotorua.
I was the first year nine student to receive the Principals award for academics this year. I have received my bronze and silver medals for the Achievers Award which means that I have achieved more more than 10 achievement vouchers, have done multiple services for the school or community, played in 2 or more sports teams, had more than 10 excellence grades and perfect attendance.
Thank you again for the wonderful sponsorship which has helped us to buy our equipment.
Well the hockey/soccer season has started at last and I have been very busy with lots of training and traveling around.
Since then the following has happened.
During Terms 1 and 4 (footy off-season) there are four different Federation teams in the BOP region that practice separately for game days. During the footy season (Terms 2 and 3) because of all the college and club games this is brought down to only two teams which you have to trial for. At the end of April I went to Tauranga to trial for one of these teams. Thankfully I was chosen and am now going to training sessions every Tuesday after school at Bay Park, in Tauranga. It is great as I get to practise with very strong players. This past Sunday we had our first inter-federation game-day against Waikato A - unfortunately we lost. The Waikato team is full of NTC players so it was a really good but hard game.
College footy is going well. It's quite a shock playing with and against huge players who can be up to 18 years old. I am 13 so it is a big difference to what I am used to but it is a good challenge and I am learning a lot and getting fitter and more skilled all the time. We have won 2 matches and lost two matches so far.
College hockey is also great fun and challenging - I play in the Boys 2nd team (a development team) with older, bigger and more experienced boys. Our opponents are huge and fast and boy do they hit hard!!! We play in the Rotorua League. We have won 1 match and lost 2 so far.
I guess the next couple of years are going to be a huge learning curve for me in both sports. I am starting at the bottom (of the high school ladder) and working my way up again. It is fun, and challenging.
Thank you again for giving me this scholarship. I really appreciate it. It has helped a lot with the buying of equipment - I have bought boots, turf shoes, footballs and shin-pads with the funding. It has made a big difference to our spending as we travel to Rotorua and Tauranga a lot, and sometimes Auckland too. Not having to spend a lot on equipment as well as petrol is a big help. The clothes are amazing too!
I will send updates more regularly now that we are fully into the hockey/footy season.
Thank you again
What I’ve done so far this year:
Great Lake Relay 2012 -
In February I participated in the Great Lake Relay as part of the Team Taupo New Balance Composite Team. We came second out of 97 teams and picked up the silver medal. The composite team is a combination of walkers and runners racing at different times and distances. My run was 5.5 kilometres at 5 o’clock in the morning.
Junior Taupo Tennis Championships 2012-
U14 Singles Championship - Runner up (in a tie-break)
U14 Doubles Championship – Winner with Sean Jackman.
Thank you to Phil and Dad who helped me practise and taught me new skills. My game has improved a lot over the last year with your help.
During the off-season in Terms 1 and 4 I travel up to Rotorua twice a week with the other Federation boys for high performance training at the RTC (Regional Talent Centre). I train with boys mainly from Rotorua and Taupo plus a few from Whakatane.
We have played two off-season tournaments this last month. In Cambridge and Auckland. The opposition teams were very skilled and strong and the results were disappointing but we have learnt lots from them.
I’d like to thank all the parents for driving us to and from Rotorua twice a week and Dave and Paul Stewart for coaching us.
I have joined the Taupo-nui-a-Tia College football team and will be playing for the school this year. It will be very different playing with the college this year instead of the club but I am looking forward to the upcoming season.
RTC will carry on through winter but only once a week as the main focus is now college and club commitments.
This will start again next week. I will be playing for the Taupo-nui-a-Tia College Development Team this year, upgrading my skills and technique as much as possible.
Last year was great playing in the Hatch Cup Nationals down in Carterton. Hopefully I’ll be involved in something similar this year. Thank you to Stu Maxwell, Graeme Nel and Rollie for their coaching.