19 October, 2022
Waverley-raised Lance Corporal Hana Wainohu, 23, is a halfback for the Defence Ferns team competing in the first women’s International Defence Rugby Competition. Defence teams from Australia, Fiji, France, Tonga, the United Kingdom and a combined Papua New Guinea/Vanuatu side are competing in the tournament in Auckland this month.
The Linton-based soldier is grateful for the support and encouragement the NZDF has provided so she could bring her daughter to Auckland as they go head-to-head with wahine toa from international militaries.
“The NZDF is willing to support and assist us as mothers to continue to represent them in our sporting codes,” Lance Corporal Wainohu said.
“The greater message here is to show women that we can continue playing sport while being mothers with the right assistance and support.”
Lance Corporal Wainohu decided on a career in the NZ Army because it was important for her to be able to continue playing sport. She enlisted in 2018.
“I love playing sport and the NZDF provides a lot of sporting opportunities. Whether minor games for physical training, inter-unit level or NZDF level, they all contribute to my sporting interests.”
Leading up to the international competition, Lance Corporal Wainohu was most excited about being able to compete with a new supporter by her side, her eight-month-old daughter Waimarie.
“I’ve been looking forward to getting back into the swing of competitive rugby since being on maternity leave but most of all, I’m excited to be bringing my daughter along the journey with me,” she said.
The competition goes to 25 October. You can find match information and can watch the livestream, or replay games on our website: nzdf.mil.nz/idrc. You can also keep up with the event highlights through our Defence Sports Facebook page.