Thursday, April 26, 2012

SMU hockey player goes national

By Keotta House
Cardinal Staff

Playing at the international level of any sport is rare opportunity and it is almost unheard of for a NCAA Division III.  However, Saint Mary’s University senior Sheree Haslemore joined the New Zealand National Women’s Hockey team at the age of 14 and has never looked back since.

“I have been playing for the team since I was 14,” she said. “There is nothing better than putting on the black NZ jersey and singing my national anthem.”

After playing on a national team one would think a Division III team would have little to offer, but Haslemore disagrees.

“I have enjoyed the professionalism that is brought to the athletic programs and that you are continually held to a higher standard,” she said.  “You learn so much about yourself through your interactions with your teammates, but also through the balancing act of being a student-athlete.”

The SMU Athletic Department is happy to have not only someone with her experience, but someone with her personality. As SMU Women’s Hockey Head Coach Terry Mannor said, someone with her sense of leadership and a positive attitude is a good thing for any team to have.

“Sheree was a good influence to the girls on the team and she added a bit of maturity that we were more than happy to have,” he said.

Athletic Director Nikki Fennern felt similarly to having Haslemore here at SMU.

“She has brought [SMU] to a country we have never been before, and it’s a lot of good promotion to have someone like Sheree here,” she said.

Haslemore is a senior and she said she will always have a special place in her heart for SMU after she graduates. As for hockey, she said she will always have a special place for it as well, but that doesn’t mean she is done.

“I plan to continue playing as long as my body will let me,” she said.  “Hockey is something that I have been a part of so long that it has become engrained in my being.”  

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