Students at Margaret River Primary School were treated by a visit from Australian Men’s Hockey Player, Olympian, and ex-Margaret River Primary School student, Aran Zalewski last week.
Zalewski had just returned from the World League Qualifying Tournament in South Africa where Australia performed well to advance to the finals later this year.
He met with a class of Year 6 students for a question and answer session where he talked about how he began playing hockey in Margaret River, and after advancing through regional selection trials made his way into state junior representative teams, and gained a position in the WA Institute of Sport program in Perth.
He made his Australian debut six years ago in Bunbury, playing against India where he scored a goal in his first game. He was then accepted into the Australian Institute of Sport Hockey elite program as a member of the Australian squad.
Since then, he has represented Australia in the 2014 World Cup and the Commonwealth Games where gold medals were won.
In addition to his hockey playing commitments in Australia, he also plays in the Indian Hockey League with the Kalinga Lancers, and recently spent a season playing in the Netherlands Hockey League.
Despite the disappointment at last year’s Rio Olympics, Zalewski still rates the experience as one of his proudest moments, representing Australia and having the opportunity of mixing with the world’s top athletes.
The Margaret River-raised athlete took the school’s interschool hockey team for a special coaching clinic, making comment on the emerging skill levels, the tenacity and enthusiasm they showed and stressed to them the need to enjoy playing sport and being part of a team.