We catch up with 2018 Hillcrest High School leaver Anja Kuys who has been in America playing Lacrosse.

Anja attended Hillcrest High School between 2014 and 2018 and started playing Lacrosse for the first time in Yr. 9 and instantly fell in love with it.

Anja’s believes that her success in Lacrosse is partly because of the opportunities provided at Hillcrest. “Hillcrest gave me the opportunity to play several other sports like Football, Basketball, Waterpolo, Athletics, and Rowing.”

Anja believes it was great to have the opportunity to be involved in so many sports and it was always encouraged to try something new. Teachers and coaches were understanding and flexible. Because she was able to explore so many different sports she believes it set her up to be successful in Lacrosse because she had a more well rounded approach.

Anja recalls that Hillcrest was a competitive school both within the school and when competing against other schools. “I was pushed when playing sports and constantly improving my skills”.

Anja was part of the New Zealand U19 squad and played in an American tournament where a coach was watching and Anja was successfully recruited on a scholarship to an American University, The University of Montevallo. During this time Anja achieved many awards.

While playing, Anja studied and earned a Bachelors and Masters degree in Exercise and Nutrition Science and has since presented her Masters Thesis work at a couple of Sport Science conferences in America.

Anja was able to travel and see different parts of the USA which she never would have thought possible, if it was not for Lacrosse.

Anja was also selected into the New Zealand Lacrosse Team and competed at the 2022 World Cup in Towson, USA.

Anja believes without the experience she had at Hillcrest, she would have never made it to the United States or had as good of a chance at representing New Zealand on the world stage.