Sport at Rosmini College is on fire. The senior basketballers are National champions, the First XI cricketers are bound for Nationals in December, and the First XI hockey team recently won the Super City competition after finishing sixth last year.
Isaac Houlbrooke is a member of the hockey outfit and the schools’ Sports Captain. Why is sport in such good health at Rosmini?
“We’ve got good coaches and high involvement. As a sports captain I try to lead by example and encourage the leaders of the other codes to do the same,” Houlbrooke answered.
Houlbrooke has led by example in hockey. The central midfielder was selected in the New Zealand Under 18 squad and has helped transform Rosmini into a dogged and accomplished outfit; highly regarded for their defence.
Rosmini only conceded four goals in eight games en route to the Super City title. Houlbrooke identifies a turning point in the season.
“We lost to Westlake in the North Harbour final and made some changes to our defence. We work really hard on defence, even if you are an attacking player,” he stressed.
“We started the Super City competition with tough wins against King’s and St Kent’s, two of the best teams in the country. At that point I knew we had the goods.”
Rosmini again stumbled to Westlake, but was undefeated against all the other six schools in the Super City competition, establishing a final against National champions St Kentigern College. Houlbrooke was to play a major role in Rosmini’s triumph.
“I scored in the first-half when I ran into the circle and reserved past the keeper,” he reflected.
“Our second goal was scored by our striker Jeevan Concisom who ran down the sideline and crossed to the edge of the circle. The ball took some lucky touches and went into the net. You need a bit of luck, but we kept hustling and managed to keep a very good side out.”
Houlbrooke is one of six Under 18 hockey players in the Sport New Zealand, Pathway to Podium program which provides annual support for leading athletes with training, diet and management.
Houlbrooke’s talents aren’t exclusively confined to hockey. He is a four-time Auckland lacrosse champion with Rosmini and has even traveled to Australia with his school for that code.
“I got into a few years back with some mates from school. We really enjoy it and have fundraisers to help us meet the costs of playing. I’m an attacking player,” Houlbrooke reveals.
There are four clubs in Auckland and Houlbrooke is aligned with Harbour who play at Nixon Park, Kingsland.
Rosmini’s tour of Australia took them as far as Perth as they made up the numbers in the Australian championships.
Rosmini don’t expect to be making up the numbers at the Rankin Cup in Christchurch next week. Rosmini are grouped with King’s High School, Dunedin, Wanganui High School and Wellington College.
“There’s a lot of good sides at Rankin. We’ll be taking things one game at a time, but we have a lot of experience and confidence,” Houlbrooke concluded.
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