Last year, Leicester Hockey Club’s very own Oriwa Hepi made the huge decision to leave New Zealand behind to journey to the United Kingdom and play hockey in the heart of England. With her husband Sam and baby daughter Maia accompanying her, the trio commenced an incredible journey that went beyond the distance travelled from the southern hemisphere to the northern one.
Writing for our own website, Oriwa provides her personal account of her experience over the past year. In this, the final of three parts, Oriwa talks about having family come over to visit and explains how she’s living a dream…
I was fortunate enough to have my mother make the long journey back to her motherland here in England to spend time with her moko (granddaughter). It was nice, but an odd adjustment to having more freedom. She made it in time for the prize-giving, so she came with us to that. We spent nights out in town and weekends away, knowing that the freedom will soon disappear.
Currently, I work for the facilities owned by the club. Even better, Sam manages the facilities, so technically I report to him which has worked out pretty well so far. We save our money and go on trips around the UK and Europe. So far we have visited Ireland with family, Scotland with my good pal Micky, Wales with family where Paul I climbed the second highest point in the British Isles with Maia on my back. The club took Sam and me over to the Netherlands to view hockey pitches for the new facilities. We have been all over England, from the Seven Sisters to wildlife parks where Maia got to feed giraffes to the Tardis hidden away in a BBC building. I've been on the radio to promote the club. We went to Mablethorpe courtesy of Sarah to experience the beach, Maia' second time on the beach and she loved it. Most recently my good friend that I was so jealous, she came and signed with Leicester Hockey Club too. We are now living together in the Kiwi house.
We have made lasting memories here with Leicester Hockey and the people within. I have overcome barriers that society holds in front of women who have children. Sam has been the perfect partner to help prove both sides of those stereotypes wrong. I'm a mother, I signed with Leicester Hockey Club as a mother, and I'm traveling Europe.
I'm not dreaming this one, I'm living it.