Whanganui High School's two talented hockey exponents will have another opportunity to show their wares against the best of their age grade in December.

Rebecca Baker and Jordan Cohen, also Central Hockey representatives, have been selected for the New Zealand Under 18 women's and men's development camps, to be held December 15-21.

For 18-year-old Cohen, who cracked the Central Mavericks team last year in the NHL, it will be his second time at the men's camp, having gone to New Plymouth with schoolmate Ryan Gray in 2017.

Baker, who alongside Emma Rainey was part of the Central Under 18 that won their national title last year, will now follow in Rainey's footsteps by going to the women's camp.


"I guess I'm pretty excited to go back, being the senior player," Cohen said of the opportunity.

While the camp's location has not been decided yet, Cohen said the routine usually involves a travel day then training sessions, which includes mini games, then more fitness work, personal training, and full matches to finish off the week.

"They want to see if you can play with a bit of fatigue and if your body is still responding.

"Can you maintain a high skill level."

Although there are 30 players chosen for the men's camp, to be joined by four goalkeepers after their own private camp in October, Cohen is one of only three Central representatives, along with Lucca Burley and Tom Nicholls.

However, Cohen is confident of being up to the standard of the other regions, thanks to being named in Hockey NZ's Pathway to Podium (P2P) programme back in May, which gave him regional support and training camps for strengthening and conditioning.

"There's people in that around the country, so I'm not alone, I guess."

He has a busy finish to the local season with games for the WHS 1st XI, club hockey playoffs in Manawatu, and hopefully being named in the Central NHL squad next week.


An all-round sports star, 16-year-old Baker now has a very busy schedule given she also came second in the Under 18 Women's grade of the NZ Open Cross Country Champs in Wellington during the week.

She will be heading to Australia to run for New Zealand on August 23, and will then come back to compete for WHS 1st XI women's team during school tournament week.

This will be followed by more national athletics training and getting ready for the hockey camp.

"It's always a goal that I had and it's cool to see it happen," Baker said of joining the Under 18 camp.

Unlike Cohen, she knows little about what the camp will be like, but has plenty of people to ask.

Given Central's Under 18 national success, they have strong representation with eight chosen out of 32 attendees.

"I knew all the girls, they've been in the team for the last two years," Baker said.

Of the eight chosen for the national camp, six have been before, with Baker and Rileigh Knapp the newcomers.

As well as her 2017 national title with Central, Baker captained the Wanganui Under 15 team at the national championship tournament in Timaru last year, scoring 13 goals in seven matches.

She is from a strong hockey family as sister Charlotte was there when Baker opened the email about her national selection, and will be eyeing up success of her own as Charlotte Baker's Whanganui Women's team are favourites for the Manawatu Premier Reserve title, to be decided in coming weeks.