Tag: Sports

Shore's up-and-coming Volleyball star

Mitchell Hallett is a North Shore Volleyball player representing New Zealand on the world’s sporting stage. At just 20 years old, the Murrays Bay local has played for the New Zealand Under 21 Volleyball and is currently part of the New Zealand men’s squad. He is hoping to make the final men’s team picked. He attended Mairangi Bay Primary School, Murrays Bay Intermediate and Rangitoto College, and has always been sports mad. Mitchell started volleyball in year nine and has played for North Harbour Raiders mens open team since year 12. He has also played in the Under 17s & 19s for North Harbour along the way. Mitchell also received an ASB Young Sportsman of the Year Award in 2013. Channel Mag’s Courtney Bennett put these questions to Mitchell during September.

COURTNEY BENNETT: Explain what it feels like to represent New Zealand.
Being able to take the court with the New Zealand flag on your chest and your family's name across your back is a feeling like no other.

CB: What are your thoughts on changing the flag?
I personally think New Zealand needs a flag that is individual and significant to us as a country. To me our current flag is too similar to the Australian flag so I think it does need to be changed.

CB: What sort of training do you do for your sport?
During the season I do up to three skill trainings a week with the team as well as personal gym training three to four times a week.

CB: Who is the toughest team you have come up against and why?
The toughest team I have come up against would be the National Chinese Junior Mens Team. They train six hours a day in specialised facilities and have played for twice as long as I have. Their skill level is hard to compete with and the fact that the entire team is over 6ft 6’ makes them an extremely challenging opponent.

CB: What’s next for your sporting career?
Keep training and working hard with the New Zealand Mens Squad to compete for a spot in the National Mens Team.

CB: What do you do in your spare time?
In my spare time like to surf, go to the beach with friends and family, and I DJ.

CB: Do you have a mentor?
Not really a mentor as such.  However I do look up to a lot of different national and international players, like Luciano De Cecco (Argentinian star player).

CB: Favourite sport to watch live?
Volleyball and Surfing.

CB: Favourite volleyball player and why?
Luciano De Cecco from Argentina. This is because he is one of the best players in the world in my position. His skill and passion for the game is like no other.

CB: What’s the best part about playing volleyball?
The Volleyball community is a very social group of people. Over the years I have made plenty of new friends both in New Zealand and around the world. Volleyball has also taken me to countries and places around the world I would never have been to if I hadn’t been involved

CB: In 10 year’s time, I’ll be….
I aim to still be playing volleyball at a high level providing my body can handle it. Along the way I would like to be part of the group that helps to grow New Zealand Volleyball and get it more commonly recognised on the world stage.

By Courtney Bennett

Channel Magazine: Issuu 59 October 2015

Shore People articles by Courtney Bennett