From Business Analyst to the Black Sticks

Jordan Cohen
3 min read

I’ve dreamed of playing for New Zealand ever since I was little. I didn’t really care what sport it was. I just wanted to make it to the top.

Growing up in Whanganui, I loved sport and played every sport under the sun including football, touch and hockey. My Dad played rugby when he was younger and my Mum’s side of the family is quite into hockey.

I started playing hockey when I was five years old. I made hockey rep teams from the age of 11 and I just kept progressing. I guess it was around high school when I realised maybe I had a shot at playing at the top level. That really motivated me to work even harder on my fitness and speed because that’s something you can control. From the age of 17 I’d go for extra training runs and I went to the gym to get stronger.

I made various age-group sides for New Zealand growing up, including the under-18s and under-21s. I’ve also won three national titles and a Premier Hockey League title.

When I finished high school I moved to Wellington to study at Victoria University. I graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Finance and Management in 2021 and got a job with Capability Group not long after that. I do 15-20 hours a week in training which has to be balanced around my work life.

I was called up to a five-day selection camp for the Black Caps at the start of 2022. It was pretty intense both physically and mentally. I was excited because I knew I was close to achieving my childhood dream.

The selections were announced the day after camp and when I got a phone call from the manager confirming my selection I was pretty emotional and a little bit overwhelmed if I’m being honest. It was a phone call I'll never forget.

I made my debut against Australia in May and my family came to the shirt presenting ceremony. Dad made a speech which was really emotional but I was probably the least nervous I've been before a game. I just tried to enjoy the experience.

At the start of July I was selected as part of the squad for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and I’m really looking forward to the experience. We've got a new head coach and he's driving some cool learnings.

I’ve always been very self-driven. I want to be a world class hockey player. I'm never satisfied with being second and I’ve set some big goals for myself like winning the World Cup with the Black Sticks next year and going to the Olympics in Paris in 2024. First things first, is to put in a good performance at the Commonwealth Games.

Keep reading Jordan’s experience, in the next blog he will write everything about the Commonwealth Games.

Don’t miss the games:

NZ Vs Australia 8am NZT – 2nd August  

NZ Vs South Africa 6am NZT – 5th August

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