WHA U18 Coaches Appointed

March 23, 2020

WHA is excited to announce the following U18 head coach appointments for 2020, we look forward to working further with these developing coaches and supporting them in delivering high quality representative campaigns:

U18 Boys – Riley Jennings

Riley takes on this role having worked extensively on the Women’s side over the past few years, including leading the successful WGC 1stXI and assisting with the impressive Capital U18 team last year. Riley has strength in creating environments that athletes enjoy and want to be part of, his skill set is continually growing. A competitive player himself and former Capital representative, Riley is looking forward to a new challenge working with a different group of athletes and contributing with WHA to develop the next tier of boys coming through.

U18 Development Boys – Alex Grey

Alex enters his third season coaching with WHA since arriving from the Waikato. He has been heavily involved in this short time coaching multiple youth representative teams as well as leading the hockey programme at Scots college. Alex displays aspiration and commitment to his trade, he is forever exploring new methods and looking to better himself in his coaching. He values the personal approach and is always working towards getting the best out of each individual. Alex is excited at the opportunity to challenge himself and the group of athletes he gets to connect with.

U18 Girls – Bjorn Dix 

Bjorn steps down into the U18s with significant experience in the Performance space, having led multiple Capital campaigns at U18, U21 and NHL level, including the gold medal winning 2018 U18 Men. Bjorn views this role as a great opportunity for him to personally develop some areas of focus whilst challenging and extending the best girls we have in Wellington. Bjorn has proven experience in having clarity of purpose and knowing how to deliver a campaign that aligns and produces positive outcomes. He is fiercely competitive and we look forward to seeing how he can impact this group.

U18 Development Girls – Kiri Rakuraku-Akavi

Kiri is well known to our community as her contribution to hockey goes well beyond the coaching space, recently recognised by Hockey NZ as a finalist for the Volunteer of the Year awards. She has been heavily involved in coaching at the representative, school and club level holding multiple roles with WHA, Tawa College and Tawa Titans. Kiri displays strength in building team culture and cohesion, bringing people together and connecting with individuals to understand how she can best support and develop them. Kiri values a true athlete centred approach and this comes through strong in her coaching.