UC graduate selected for the Black Sticks

Rachel McCann
Rachel McCann

Rachel McCann is excited to graduate from the University of Canterbury in April this year with a Bachelor of Arts degree – but the Cantabrian is more excited about having fulfilled her childhood dream of playing for the New Zealand women’s hockey team, the Black Sticks.

McCann, 21, made her debut in the three-test series against Canada at the Whangarei ITM Hockey Centre on February 5. The series was a great victory for the Black Sticks – with all three games being convincing wins for the Kiwi women.

McCann says it felt awesome when she got the call saying she had been picked for the Canada series, but says it was a bit of a surprise. “There were definitely a few nerves on game day”. But she made a very strong debut, scoring her first international goal in the second half of the third game, which the Black Sticks won 5-1.

McCann’s debut performance was so impressive that she has been named in the 2015 national squad along with 23-year-old Kirsten Pearce. The selector’s decision was also influenced by her hard work and equally impressive performance at the January training camp.

After a year of intensive training and hockey playing, McCann hopes to return to the University of Canterbury next year to complete a one year teaching course.

To see the full interview with Rachel click here.

Fancy flat food: Pasta Puttanesca!

Can you make this? Yes you can!
This pasta is soooooo easy, and it tastes super good! It’s a one of the best recipes to serve in the flat, or to the fam as it’s cheap to make, yet it seems like a special treat.

It serves 4 people, so mix up the ingredient quantities depending how much you need.


  • 400g dried spaghetti
  • Olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled and finely sliced
  • 3 chopped anchovy fillets
  • 2 red chillies sliced
  • Handful of black olives halved
  • 2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes halved
  • Bunch of fresh basil leaves
  • Parmesan cheese, to serve


  • Bring large saucepan of water to the boil, add a pinch of salt and then the spaghetti (cook according to time on the packet)
  • Put the garlic, anchovy and chillies in a frying pan of hot olive oil. Add the olives. Stir for 2 minutes (or until the garlic starts to turn golden and the anchovies melt into the base). Add the cherry tomatoes, a good splash of the pasta water and cover the fry-pan with a lid. Cook for 3-4 minutes (or until the cherry tomatoes begin to cook down)
  • Drain the pasta but put aside a cup full of the cooking water. Add the basil leaves to the sauce, along with the pasta and a splash of the cooking water.
  • Transfer to plates and top with the parmesan cheese and a few basil leaves if desired.

Bon appetit!

Note: Recipe originated from jamieoliver.com

Apply now to take part in the Plastic Bottle Kayak Expedition

In May 2013, twenty five passionate kiwi youth leaders paddled 100km of New Zealand’s most remote and beautiful Whanganui River in kayaks built from up-cycled plastic bottles. This journey raised awareness of our serious environmental issue: plastic pollution. The epic adventure was covered by local and national newspapers, current affairs shows including Campbell Live and Seven Sharp, and a range of online media publications, spreading the message to the whole nation. An award-winning short film was also produced from this expedition.

The goal this year is to complete a similar expedition but making it bigger and better. It will take place in the famous Abel Tasman National Park, from the 22nd to 24th of March, and the team is looking for young leaders from around Aotearoa to join them on this unforgettable experience. You’ll meet amazing youth from around the country, learn a lot about the environment, and do it all in a unique fashion!

Apply now to join this incredible journey! Applications close this Friday 27 February.

If you have questions talk to UCSA Vice-President, Luke Gillespie. Luke took part in 2013 and can tell you all about his amazing experience.