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Twelve-year-old Charlize Hartshorne, from Hamilton, is a keen hockey fan. She also has hemiplegia, which has caused her left leg to grow slower than the right – but that hasn’t stopped her from playing the game she loves.

When Satan’s Little Helper heard her story, he reckoned tickets to the Trans-Tasman Trophy Hockey Series in Auckland for her and her family would be a well-deserved treat. Charlize, her mum Priscilla and younger sister Savannah all enjoyed a day of matches at the Lloyd Elsmore Hockey Stadium with a complimentary lunch courtesy of HELL, before spending the night at a nearby hotel. Priscilla says they all had “a blast”. “I’d kept the outing a surprise, so Charlize didn’t know what we were doing. She spotted the Black Sticks practising and asked what we were doing there. When I told her, she was the over the moon! The atmosphere was awesome; so many people turned up to watch,” she says. “It was so good to spend quality time away with the girls.” Charlize’s condition is the result of a mild stroke that she suffered during birth. Since she was three years old, she has been through ongoing physiotherapy, worn various casts to promote growth in her left leg, and been given Botox injections to make her calf muscle more elastic. Priscilla says Charlize has never let it hold her back: “She plays in defence and her favourite part is getting into the goal after a penalty and revving up her teammates! It’s really good to see, because keeping active is also good for her leg.”


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