Tamara Dudley is the new regional development manager for Hockey Nelson. Photo: Jessie Johnston.

Hockey Nelson welcomes new manager

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With a passion for hockey and having recently achieved a Bachelor in sport and recreation, Tamara Dudley is feeling confident about her new position as regional development manager for Hockey Nelson.

Tamara joined the team in late January, taking over the role from Craig Brett who had served the organisation for 14 years.

Starting the job just weeks before Hockey Nelson’s senior and junior programs kick-off has been “chaotic” but Tamara is thrilled to be working in a sport she loves and in a region that offers such a great lifestyle.

“I was in the Navy for 14 years and then I decided to go to AUT where I’ve recently finished a Bachelor in Sport and Recreation, majoring in coaching and management,” says Tamara. “Hockey is definitely something I wanted to be involved in, I’ve been playing for the last 30 odd years.”

Tamara was born in Blenheim but has spent most of her life in the Auckland area.

She’s played representative hockey for North Harbour, been in the New Zealand Maori women’s team for the last four years and has just been named in the New Zealand Women’s 35+ squad, who will be competing at the Masters World Cup later in the year.

As regional development manager, Tamara oversees three key areas, community hockey, hockey in school’s and representative teams. “Further on this year, I can probably implement some changes, but I think this term especially it’s more observation and seeing how Hockey Nelson runs,” says Tamara.

“We’ve got some new development programs coming up aimed at our representative players, junior programs for the primary and intermediate children, the senior summer competition and a college competition as well.”

Brand new for 2018, Hockey Nelson is also going to operate a satellite program in Motueka, allowing for local competition instead of players having to travel all the way to the Saxton complex.

Hockey Nelson operations manager Fabian Amor says Tamara’s personality was a big driver behind her appointment, as well as her hockey background.

“The way she can interact with schools, young kids and young coaches is very important. We are excited about how Tamara’s role will impact the community and give us the opportunity to grow the sport within the region.”