HOCKEY
Sport is littered with examples of athletes who reach the heady heights of age-group selection, only to sink without trace when a lift in commitment is required to reach the next level.
In former Black Sticks hockey international Lincoln Churchill's eyes, Tauranga teenager Rose Keddell won't be one of those to fall by the wayside.
Keddell, 16, has been selected for the New Zealand junior girls' hockey team to compete in August's Youth Olympics in Singapore, which will bring together 3600 athletes aged between 14-18 from 205 countries to compete in 26 sports.
Good friend Hannah Marshall is a non-travelling reserve.
Without wanting to hype the Year 12 student too much, Churchill - coach of Keddell's Bethlehem College first XI - said she struck him as a well-rounded player who would take her burgeoning game even higher.
"Rose's future is extremely bright, simply due to the qualities she has that a lot of other players don't possess," Churchill said.
"She's athletic and skillful, really competitive and puts a tonne of energy into every game she plays in.
"Add to that she's a workhorse who puts plenty of grunt behind everything she does and that's a package some of our better players around the country don't have."
Keddell plays in midfield for Bethlehem's first XI and the Midlands under-21 side and is a pivotal part of the Tauranga rep team heading to the national under-18 tournament in July.
She was picked from a two-day national training camp and the national under-21 tournament in Palmerston North, where Midlands were fifth.
She has pedigree, with her sister, Hannah, competing in the Youth Olympics in Sydney in beach volleyball. Genetics might also play a part - her cousin is world single sculls champion Mahe Drysdale.
"It's pretty cool, whenever I see Mahe at a family gathering or when he calls in, to talk to him about high performance stuff and preparing for top level competition. When I found out I was selected Mum (Wendy) was straight on the phone to him picking his brains."
Her family own Mount View Sport Horses but she's never been much into the equine scene.
"Mum's into it and my little sister (Katherine) rides. I rode a bit when I was younger, it was probably a huge disappointment to Mum that I never carried on with it."
Hockey and volleyball were her first loves but, after playing beach volleyball for New Zealand under-17 in Adelaide a few years back, hockey won out.
"It felt like it was time then to make a decision on which sport I should commit to and hockey was it. It can probably take me a long way if I stick with it."
Keddell was sounded out about attending and playing for Tauranga Girls' College this year but was definite in her decision to stay at Bethlehem, especially with Churchill coming on board to coach the first XI. "He's probably the reason I've made the team for Singapore. He's played at highest level, is really smart about hockey and has all the best tips and drills to help us improve.
"All my friends are here and I doubt I would have got his level of coaching anywhere else."
Finding a way to replicate Singapore's heat and 98 per cent humidity looms as Keddell's biggest challenge over the next few months. She attends training wearing layers of polypropelene and is also keen on doing some stationary cycling in a sauna.
It's likely the players heading to Singapore will form the bulk of New Zealand's 2013 Junior World Cup team. New Zealand qualified to send a women's hockey team to the Youth Olympic Games as a result of the Black Sticks women winning the 2009 Oceania Cup.
New Zealand women's Youth Olympic team: Georgia Barnett, 15, Manawatu, Amy Barry, 17, Hawke's Bay, Jamie Bolton, 17, Canterbury, Jessica Chisholm, 16, Waikato, Michaela Curtis, 16, Manawatu, Samara Dalziel, 15, Otago, Rhiannon Dennison, 17, North Harbour, Kate Fallaver,16, Manawatu, Rosie Keddell, 16, Tauranga, Sarah Matthews, 16, Auckland, Rachel McCann, 17, Canterbury, Kate McCaw ,17, Wellington, Elley Miller, 16, Northland, Danielle Sutherland, 15, Auckland, Kayla Wilson, 17, Waikato, Lydia Velzian, 17, Waikato.