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.
Brooke’s presentation had staff in tears, students practicing mindfulness, and people are still talking about it week later. She really set the bar for other guest speakers. ... keep reading Hobsonville Point School
Brooke’s presentation was superb. It provided a real insight into the good and bad of aiming for the highest standards in sport and life. The honesty and commitment she talked about was inspirational, as well as showing the importance of family and their support.
Brooke spoke recently to 300 Year 9 and 10 students and staff. She was relaxed, confident and entertaining in her approach with a good mix of humour and personal experience and advice with regards the Olympic ideals, goal setting and her Rio experience.
Brooke’s address to the 180 senior syndicate students was right on the button. Her friendly, bubbly, warm personality shone through instantly and she had the kids engaged for the whole hour.
It was refreshing to listen to Brooke Neal speak at our Regional Meeting in front of 60 agents. Her journey of dedication, determination and her driving will to succeed resonated with our salespeople. The message both inspirational and motivating could easily be taken into the business world. Brooke delivered her story with energy, humour and a humility that was incredibly moving. The team thoroughly enjoyed listening to her.