While most teenagers dream of travelling the world sometime in their future plans, Hannah Jensen has already ticked off a significant amount of countries, thanks to her success in her sports of inline and ice hockey.
As profiled in a recent issue of Fitness Journal, the Hamilton teenager is enjoying continued success in both sports, and recently returned from competing in Hawaii, complete with stash of medals, trophies and championship rings from the American Athletic Union’s Inline Hockey Junior Olympics and US Adult Nationals, where she was selected as captain of the NZ 18U women’s team.
The team entered an 18U grade but found itself competing in a combined grade against mostly senior women’s teams, making it through to the finals in the international section against Canada senior women (the same team which won the World Champs in Italy) and finishing with an impressive silver.
Hannah’s team also won gold in the club division, playing in the final against Hawaii, who managed to add some USA players from the previous tournament in an attempt to strengthen their team. While many of the Kiwi team members had never played at that level previously, they managed to hold off and defeat the strong Hawaii side.
After returning to Hamilton, Hannah spent some time travelling around New Zealand in the final games of her national tournaments, this time swapping her inline skates for ice skates, as part of the NZ U18 ice hockey team.
Her bags are once again packed as she leaves for Denmark this month where she will spend a gap year improving her Danish language and her ice hockey. Hannah will play for a Danish ice hockey club, but will have to travel to Germany, Sweden or another European country to play inline hockey, as they don’t play inline hockey in Denmark.
Although Hannah has dual citizenship, she is committed to playing for New Zealand.
The former Fraser High School head girl admits it has been tough financially to fundraise for her international competitions, but is adamant the sacrifice is worthwhile.
“Playing inline and ice hockey has given me once in a lifetime opportunities and taught me valuable skills that have translated into other areas in my life. I have travelled lots of the world doing what I love and I’ve made lifelong friends – something that money cannot buy,” she says.