By Brayden Lindsay – The Timaru Herald
Since moving to New Zealand in March, 10-year-old Callum Whiteway has set himself one simple goal – to make the Ice Blacks, New Zealand’s national ice hockey team.
It might be some way off due to his age, but he’s heading in the right direction after earning a spot in the Canterbury under-14 team, which is playing in the national championships in Queenstown this weekend.
Callum said the desire to represent New Zealand was a natural one.
“I am living over here now, so I want to play for New Zealand.”
He grew up in Canada and was signed up by his parents to take part in skating because that was the thing to do in Rosseau, Ontario and all the kids at Humphrey Public School were doing it.
Callum then gave ice hockey a crack and it’s gone from there.
Since he started playing nearly three years ago, Callum has won numerous titles with his team.
The Gleniti School pupil is excited at the challenge in front of him, with the little Red Devils.
“I’m looking forward to playing against a whole lot of different players from across New Zealand.”
With limited options for ice hockey in South Canterbury, Callum spends numerous hours with his family heading to Queenstown, Christchurch, Dunedin and other places for training camps and competitions, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I love the sport. I love how competitive it can be.”
“I’ve made some really good friends from it.
He’s one of the youngest players in his Canterbury team and is hoping to put in a good showing at the tournament, so he can put his name in the hat for an appearance for New Zealand’s junior side in years to come.
“I want to make the junior New Zealand team.”
He hopes to one day have the privilege of representing NZ in a Winter Olympics but also wants to head to Japan for the International Ice Hockey Federation Friendship games as part of a New Zealand team.
Playing in a defensive role has helped him become good mates with the goalkeepers.
“I don’t know what it is but he gets on really well with both the goalies,” his mum, Julie Whiteway, said.
Since arriving in New Zealand, Callum has also taken up field hockey, albeit with its challenges.
“I am left handed in ice hockey but in normal hockey you can’t use both sides of your stick, so I have to play right handed.”
It’s something he enjoys.
“I think it’s helping my ice hockey skills.”
He has had some of his friends want to try his ice hockey gear on when around at his house and he’s hoping some more people from Timaru give the sport a go, while his sister has become ‘his goalie’ so he can practise shooting at home.
Julie is incredibly proud of what her son has achieved since taking to ice hockey.