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Source: Massey University

Dr Slade (right) playing for the NZ men’s master’s team

Dr Dennis Slade grafuating with his PhD

Massey’s state-of-the-art turf in Manawatū

Associate Professor Dennis Slade, from the School of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition, has been elected to the position of Vice President of Hockey New Zealand. 

While the role is largely ceremonial, it plays an important stepping stone in eventually becoming the President of New Zealand Hockey in two years’ time.

Dr Slade’s enduring involvement in hockey started off when he played at provincial, national and international levels. More recently, he represented New Zealand as part of the men’s masters field hockey team at a recent World Cup, where he was the top goal scorer in his age group across all countries.

Dr Slade, who received the rare distinction of being made a Fellow of Physical Education New Zealand in 2019,  noted that his election to the position perhaps also reflects not only his commitment to playing the game, but also his many coaching and administration roles within the sport.  

Throughout his involvement in the sport, Dr Slade has held numerous administration roles in Manawatū Hockey. He has also dedicated several decades of coaching expertise to the Manawatū area, including Massey University teams and as head coach of the New Zealand U16 boys’ team. Over his time, he estimates he has also presented over 70 coaching courses for Hockey New Zealand.

In his appointment it was noted that his willingness to “get things done” was another factor in his successful appointment. Further evidence of his determined work ethic is the six years he devoted to working towards building a world-class hockey turf at Massey’s Manawatū campus.

“There were lots of people who suggested a turf here would never happen, but the late Stuart Morris encouraged me to keep pushing. This week’s International tournament at Massey, including television coverage on Sky, is a wonderful outcome for Massey hockey, the university and Stuart’s encouragement,” he says.

Sport at Massey, in Dr Slade’s opinion, has the potential to be the first destination for aspiring young sportspeople who also want an excellent academic qualification.

“Given New Zealanders’ appetite for all things sport, we are add another dimension to our reputation and attractiveness to potential students by continuing to capitalise on this potential.”  

Over the last few evenings Dr Slade attended the trans-Tasman tournament, where he says he was “pinching himself” that this first tournament for these teams in well over a year is being played on the Massey University hockey turf.

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