Hawks sign Kiwi to International Scholarship
In case you missed it in our previous article, Hawthorn has announced it's first International Rookie. He is Kurt Heatherley who is a fourteen year old New Zealander with a basketball background.
The announcement today on the Hawthorn website goes on to say "Kurt Heatherley, from Tauranga - 220km SE of Auckland, will become the first of these young players to join the Hawks. A highly regarded young sportsman in New Zealand, Kurt will undertake specialist training and coaching with the Hawks - both in Australia and New Zealand - between 2010-2012.
Kurt will participate in various AFLNZ player programs at U/16 and U/18 levels in the Oceania Region ahead of being eligible to be listed as a player with Hawthorn in 2013..."
The full announcement is below.
Kurt Heatherley will become the first AFL International Scholarship player from New Zealand to be listed with the Hawthorn Football Club.
From Tauranga in New Zealand (located 220km south-east of Auckland in the Bay of Plenty region), Heatherley will undertake specialist training and coaching with the Hawks over the next three years, in Australia and New Zealand, as part of his AFL International Scholarship. Heatherley will make regular visits to train with Hawthorn FC in Melbourne and participate in various AFLNZ player programs including representing the NZ Hawks at both U16 and U18 levels in the Oceania Region ahead of being eligible to be priority listed as a player with the Hawks in 2013.
“It is fantastic to be given this opportunity to play AFL football as a scholarship player with Hawthorn FC. While I have only recently begun playing Australian Rules football, it is a quick and skilful game and I am really excited to be able to join the Hawks,” Heatherley said. “I look forward to starting my training with the Hawks in Melbourne next year and hopefully following in the footsteps of other Kiwi players such as Trent Croad, Brent Renouf and Shane Savage. The connection between Hawthorn FC and New Zealand is obvious and something that I hope to add too.”
Heatherley is one of his country’s highest rated junior sportsmen and has consistently represented Bay of Plenty, Waikato and New Zealand in various basketball, rugby, cricket and athletics teams.
In basketball, Heatherley has represented New Zealand at both U14 and U16 levels. He was captain of the national U14 team in 2008 and the highest points scorer for the whole competition while representing New Zealand as a 14y/o player at the 2009 Australian U16 Basketball Championships held in Tasmania.
Heatherley has also represented the Western BOP and Waikato regions in the New Zealand National Basketball Championships; winning the MVP award as the best player on three separate occasions.
Furthermore, he is a highly talented cricket and rugby union player; playing in various representative teams while coming under notice for selection with New Zealand’s national talent squads in both of these sports.
While he commenced his secondary education at Tauranga Intermediate School, Heatherley is currently completing Year 10 as a boarding student at St Paul’s Collegiate in Hamilton.
Place of Birth: Tauranga, New Zealand