One of three women who claim they were abused as a child by Olympic gold medallist Arthur Parkin says she was too scared to tell anyone about the sporting great.

Parkin is on trial before a jury in the Auckland District Court this week for alleged historic sex offences against young girls while he was playing for the New Zealand hockey team.

Judge Robert Ronayne is presiding.

Parkin faces five charges against three complainants, whose identities are suppressed under statutory law, for indecent assault on a girl under 12 and indecent assault on a girl aged between 12 and 16.

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Born in Whangarei, the 65-year-old's alleged offending occurred between 1975 and 1983 in Whangarei, Auckland and Coromandel.

Crown prosecutor Fiona Culliney said Parkin abused the unrelated young girls on separate occasions.

She told the court Parkin touched them and forced them to touch him.

The three girls did not mention the alleged abuse to anyone, Culliney said.

"Parkin was a bit of a hero given he'd won a gold medal at the Olympics," she said.

Years later, two of the complainants were encouraged to lay a complaint with police by a person well-known to Parkin.

Police were eventually contacted in 2016.

After Parkin was charged, a third complainant came forward after seeing media reports about the allegations.

Parkin's counsel Arthur Fairley said in his opening statement there were competing narratives against all the allegations.

He went through every individual charge with the jury and said to each count: "That did not happen."

"In a broad sense, no, no, no, no, no," he said.

Arthur Parkin sitting in the dock in the Auckland District Court on day one of his trial. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Arthur Parkin sitting in the dock in the Auckland District Court on day one of his trial. Photo / Brett Phibbs

The first complainant told the court that Parkin first abused her while she was swimming at a Northland beach during the summer of 1975-76.

She said there was a queue of children in the water waiting to play with the sports star.

"We played in the water every day, but this particular day is pertinent to me because of something that happened in the water," she said.

"I was wearing my brand new bathers that my mum had made me."

The woman, then a young girl, swam out to Parkin who was standing in the shallows.

"I got to Arthur and he held me in front of him, my back was to him, he held me around the waist," she said.

Then, she said emotionally, Parkin grabbed her buttocks and began holding her from the front.

"I remember sitting there bouncing in the water and suddenly I could feel his hand pushing under the elastic.

"He pushed his hand into my bathers," she said.

As she turned to look at Parkin he threw her into the water, she recalled.

"I swam back to my mum ... I was just a little girl and it hurt terribly. But I felt so ashamed and disgusted.

"When he stuck his finger inside of me … the pain and the jolt, it felt like something had broken inside me. It hurt terribly, it bloody hurt."

The woman recalled thinking as she swam back to shore: "I've got to get to mum, I've got to get to mum."

But she said she was too scared to tell her mum what had happened.

"He was my hero. Arthur Parkin - the great gold medallist. All the kids wanted to play hockey like him, I wanted to play hockey like him," she said.

On another occasion, at an Auckland home, she said Parkin grabbed her hand and placed it on his groin.

Arthur Parkin (front right, number 13) pictured during a hockey test against Australia in September 1977. Photo / NZ Herald
Arthur Parkin (front right, number 13) pictured during a hockey test against Australia in September 1977. Photo / NZ Herald

William Arthur Parkin is regarded as one of the country's most celebrated hockey players and was a three-time Olympian.

He won gold as part of the Black Sticks team at the 1976 Montreal Games.

In 1990 he was admitted to the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame for his hockey feats.