16 January 2018
Star SASI hockey scholarship holder Miki Spano has a 21st birthday to look forward to in April this year but where she will celebrate it will be much different to what she would have expected a few months ago.
Miki, SASI's 2017 hockey program winner, has won a placement with Dutch club HC (hockey club) Zwolle where she will play in the local competition in the club's senior women's team.
HC Zwolle was formed in 2011 with the amalgamation of two clubs.
Coordinated mainly by SASI hockey coach Tim White, Miki leaves Adelaide on February 3 to join her new teammates until the end of the HC Zwolle campaign.
Miki says the experience will be one to look forward to but she isn't sure how her family and friends will feel about missing her 21st on April 8.
''It will be different but my parents are aiming to come over in late Marth so that will be good,'' she said.
''I'm not sure what the competition will be like but I hear it is very strong.
''It will be a bit nerve-wracking being in a different country and being away from family and friends but the opportunity will be great.''
Miki is joining the club in its mid-winter break and expects her new side to continue to hold its position high on the ladder.
But family, friends and teammates back home should get a solid picture of how she is doing with regular match previews, reviews and video footage planned on social media.
Miki is yet to meet her host family but early communications are that they can't wait to share their lives with her.
''They seem really lovely and really want to take me around and show me lots of places,'' she said.
''They even invited my family to stay with them when they come over.''
Game-wise Miki expects to play up forward as a striker but will wait to see what the coaches have planned.
She will then be back to training and playing club hockey before competing in the Australian under-21 championships between July 5 and 13 (venue to be confirmed). Miki is in the national under-21 squad.