It was on the grass at Kensington Park in Whangarei that 3 year-old Brooke Neal first picked up a hockey stick. The sport was in the Neal family. Her older brother Shay played, her father coached, and her mother were either the manager or parent help at the tournaments Brooke played in.
Background: Brooke made her first representative team aged 10. She attended Whangarei Girls’ High School and was part of a team containing future Black Sticks Charlotte and Samantha Harrison, Alana Millington, and Jasmine McQuinn. This team won the Federation Cup, the top secondary school competition in New Zealand.
Hockey: In 2012 Brooke travelled to India to play for the New Zealand Under 21 team in a four nations tournament where they came 2nd to Germany. 2013 was to be a big year in Brooke's career however. In July she played for the Under 21s in the Junior World Cup held in Germany, and then later that year in October 2013 Brooke made her senior Black Sticks debut against Australia.
But the pinnacle, so far, has been the Rio Olympics.
Current work: Since returning from Rio, Brooke has been travelling New Zealand speaking to over 30 schools and businesses. She offers an inspiring, engaging, and amusing presentation about the experiences and lessons she has learned on her Olympic journey.
A mindful and passionate athlete, Brooke is a speaker and team player with the ability to see a clear pathway. Her message is that with strong persistence you can get there, no matter how big the challenge. She has a strong desire to make a difference and help others learn, grow and develop. She does this by sharing her story with an open heart.
- Olympics & Paralympics