Black Stick Kayla Whitelock returned a bridesmaid's favour to her good friend and teammate, Emily Naylor, in Taupo last weekend.
Defender Naylor married Harry Gaddum, of Havelock North, but the 30-year-old, who Whitelock has affiliations with stemming back to their childhood days while growing up in Palmerston North, was Whitelock's bridesmaid when she married one-match All Black George Whitelock.
"It was a great day [at the Gaddum wedding]," Whitelock (nee Sharland) said but couldn't reveal any details of the ceremony as a magazine has obtained exclusive rights to that story.
The relationship of Whitelock and Naylor - who belong to the exclusive 200-cap women's Black Sticks club with Suzie Muirhead (238 retired), Krystal Forgesson (220 retired), Gemma Flynn and Anita Punt - goes back to when they were primary schoolers.
"We grew up together playing hockey from the time we were 10 and then competed around the country and then eventually around the world so it's great that Emily's come back as well," said Whitelock who was in Hastings yesterday as an ambassador of the annual Sanitarium Weet-Bix TRYathlon with champion triathlete Cameron Brown.
"Hopefully we can both push in to make our fourth Olympics together," said the 30-year-old.
Naylor also is returning from a hiatus after the Glasgow Games although her turf appearance last October in the series against World No 2 Argentina ended in the first outing with a hamstring injury.
However, the most-capped women's Black Sticks representative had been training, planning her marriage and meeting the demands of coaching at schools.
She first arrived here in 2012 after taking time out with other senior women Black Sticks players who were coming to terms with finishing fourth at the London Olympics.
Naylor and Gaddum, a deer farmer from Kereru, live in Havelock North.