At the Wellington Hospitality Group Sports Person of the Year Awards last month, Black Sticks’ striker Kelsey Smith was named Wellington Sportswoman of the Year. Born in Nelson where she attended Waimea College, Kelsey played her representative age-grade hockey for Nelson and was in the Capital U18 and U21 teams. She came to Wellington in 2013 to study at Victoria University and joined the Harbour City Hockey Club. Her speed and athleticism made an immediate impression and she formed a formidable trio with Maddie Simmonds and Felicity Reidy.
Kelsey first made the Capital team in 2013 and she was a member of the 2014 Future Black Sticks. She made her Black Sticks debut in September 2015 against Argentina in Blenheim after she had been brought into the squad as a development player.
Over the last year Kelsey has established herself as an integral member of the Black Sticks’ lineup. The highlights were finishing second to the Netherlands in the Women's FIH Hockey World League at Auckland in November 2017 and their 4-1 victory over Australia on the Gold Coast last April. They won New Zealand’s first-ever Commonwealth Games hockey gold medal.
Making the black number 25 shirt her own, Kelsey has now played 79 internationals and has scored 12 goals. There are certainly more to come for the likeable striker.
Capital Hockey congratulates Kelsey and wishes her well as she travels with the Black Sticks to take part in this month’s Hockey World Cup being held at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. Their first game will be against Belgium on 22 July 2018.