Former Black Stick Amanda Hooper was an exceptionally talented player whose work ethic and warmth towards her teammates made her second to none, according to former Black Sticks coach Ian Rutledge.
The 30-year-old is believed to have been on the second floor of the Pyne Gould Corporation building, where she worked as an account manager for finance company Marac, at the time of last Tuesday's quake.
She has not been heard of since.
The mother of two young girls represented New Zealand in the 2002 Commonwealth Games, 2002 Women's Hockey World Cup and numerous tournaments around the world during her hockey career.
She was nominated for World Junior Player of the Year in 2003.
Speaking from Canberra, Rutledge, her coach of two years, said Hooper was one of the hardest-training athletes he had come across in his coaching career.
He said her athleticism was her biggest strength and this, combined with her punctuality and team spirit, made her a standout player.
"Amanda would be up there as one of the nicest people I have ever met in regards to her warm and caring nature. She was loved by everyone in her team."
Rutledge said Hooper often took on a motherly role when the Black Sticks were competing overseas and was known for her early 5.30am starts, even when the team were not due for training until 10am.
"She was always going to be a great mother. Even back then she showed those qualities of warmth and caring. There was no doubt she and her partner Richard were going to go and be great parents."
Rutledge said Hooper was predominantly a right-side striker who, in the true tradition of a New Zealand striker, was fantastically quick.
"Her physical qualities were second to none, only to be matched by her personal attributes. She made the most of every day," said Rutledge.
Fellow Black Sticks player and friend Diane Te Awa said Hooper was renowned in the hockey community as an amazing sportswoman and friend who had a great love of the game.
"Amanda is just so full of life and bubbly and always excited about whatever she was doing."
Hooper lived in Rolleston with her husband and their two daughters.
Yesterday, her family are believed to have visited the city and let off some balloons.
By Katherine Irvine
The New Zealand Herald
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