Hawke's Bay's three-time Olympic Games hockey player Shea McAleese has scored Lindisfarne College's director of sport job.

But that doesn't mean the 33-year-old veteran of more than 250 matches for the Black Sticks is planning on coaching hockey at the Hastings school. He wants to work with all sports and feels the experience gained during his international career as well as during his days in the 1st XI cricket and football teams and 1st XV rugby side at Colenso College will prove beneficial across all codes.

McAleese sees the appointment as the beginning of a new chapter in his life. He and fiancee, fellow Olympian, kayaker Jaimee Lovett of Whakatane, plan to marry next year so a more settled life seemed appropriate.

"The last few years have been a whirlwind of foreign travel, touring with the Black Sticks, playing and coaching in Europe and Asia with top club sides," McAleese says.


"When this opportunity became available, I jumped at it. I actually did my first interview by Skype when at the Commonwealth Games," he explains referring to the April Games on the Gold Coast where his Black Sticks won silver.

Twelve years after his international debut, McAleese knows it's only a matter of time before retirement. If that doesn't happen after the December World Cup in India it will more than likely be after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Having been in the Black Sticks side which was a beaten quarter-finalist in Rio in 2016, finished ninth in 2012 and seventh in 2008, McAleese's dream of collecting an Olympic medal still burns.

"If selected for Tokyo that would be my last hurrah," McAleese says.

Well placed to advise Lindisfarne College's potential sports stars on the balance between pursuing their sporting dreams and being prepared for life after sport, McAleese intends to use his high-performance background to his advantage in his new role. He plans to set up performance programmes, adjusted for students, at all levels.

This will be a key aspect of the school's sports academy which will cater for all students, whatever their abilities. McAleese is creating a sports protocol manual and is investigating potential sporting sponsorships for the college.

"We are absolutely delighted to appoint an outstanding Olympian with extensive experience at an elite level yet who also understands that sport is for everyone," Lindisfarne rector Ken MacLeod says.

"An Olympian who believes that while the memories of wins and losses inevitably fade, the character that sport can develop lasts for much longer. Mr McAleese has a passion for sport and to help sportsmen at all levels find improvement and enjoyment whatever their sporting interest or aspirations. This is what sport at Lindisfarne is all about!"

McAleese was buzzing about his early impressions of the college.

"Lindisfarne is a phenomenal environment. The traditions, the history, the facilities, and, of course, the boys. So far it's been really enjoyable."

And he is coping well with moving into a more sedentary, office-based environment, courtesy of his dog, a German Shepherd-Husky cross.

"I have always said, if you want to get fit, get a dog," he says with a laugh.

"We run 10kms together most days, and we do sprint training together too."

That's an indication fans shouldn't discount McAleese's chances of being selected for Tokyo in 2020.