Hockey scholarship for future Black Stick

Hockey scholarship for future Black Stick

31 October 2015

St Paul’s 1st XI hockey player Declan Keaney was awarded a hockey scholarship to Lincoln University in 2016 where he will study a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture).

If the 18-year-old manages to maintain his grades and hockey skills he will have the first three years of his undergraduate degree covered by the university.

When Keaney received the news he was "pretty chuffed with himself" and unsurprisingly happy about it.

This financial leg-up is thanks to his family, a group of hockey enthusiasts who encouraged him to give the sport a go at the age of five.

“I started playing hockey at Upper Atiamuri Primary School, my whole family plays so it was something that I naturally got into,” Keaney said.

From then the rest is history. Keaney has been on the up-and-up gaining the attention of notable hockey associations like Midlands Hockey, which focus on high performance, and now Canterbury Hockey in association with Lincoln University.

Keaney played for Midland’s under-18 and under-21 teams as well as St Paul’s 1st XI with which he visited Argentina in 2015 as part of the school’s rugby and hockey tour.

He says the tour was an eye opener, with the Argentinians having a different style: “It was different both culturally and with the playing styles of their teams and their turfs. They have sand turfs and we play on water so it harder than usual.”

At Lincoln he will play for Canterbury Hockey under-21s with the aim of moving into the big leagues.

“I’m definitely aiming for the Black Sticks. I will play at the university and see how far I get in the next few years.”