Game for woman who ‘lived’ ice hockey

Tania Henare, who organised a memorial ice hockey game for her daughter Nicola — who died in a...
Tania Henare, who organised a memorial ice hockey game for her daughter Nicola — who died in a car crash last year — watches the game yesterday with sons Jorden (left) and Ethan.PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON
For someone whose life was "live, eat, breathe hockey", a memorial game is a fitting tribute, her mother Tania says.

An ice hockey match was played between family and friends of the late Nicola Henare and the Gore Grizzlies ice hockey team last night in Gore.

Nicola died on January 26 last year when a car she was a passenger in hit a power pole near Mataura and rolled.

Ms Henare said her daughter believed playing hockey was more than a game.

"Nicola always said ‘ice hockey is a way of living’," Ms Henare said.

Her favourite quote — "you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take"— came from Wayne Gretzky, a former Canadian professional ice hockey player.

Her daughter’s attitude was "if you don’t take risks you’ve got nothing to gain".

Nicola played for the Gore Grizzlies for about 10 years.

Along with her three brothers, she followed in the footsteps of their uncle John Argyle to not only play the game, but also represent New Zealand.

Most family members were present at the game as they had travelled for the unveiling of Nicola’s headstone on Tuesday.

The Henare team comprising her brothers, cousins and three friends won 6-4.

Ms Henare was relieved the family’s team had won as many were not match fit.

"Family pride was on the line.

"You can’t field a team with a whole heap of New Zealand and regional reps and not win."

She thought her daughter would have been "stoked"with the result.

Nicola’s brother Jorden, who lives in Christchurch, said it was a special family time being home for the game.

"The game was awesome fun, [and it was] good to be on the ice again, exhausting as it was," Mr Henare said.

He thought his sister would be disappointed to miss out on the game.

"She’d probably be gutted she wasn’t there to play."

Gore Grizzlies coach Grant Scott had coached Nicola at the junior levels of the game.

Mr Scott said many people that took part in the game had either played in a team with Nicola or coached by her.

"It would be a marvellous thing for it to become an annual event."

Gore Grizzlies Club president Deon Webb said it was important for the club to support the event and show respect for Nicola’s memory.

"She was well-liked throughout the club," Mr Webb said.

 - Sandy Eggleston

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