ON April 28, seasoned hockey player Christine Brady was celebrating much more than her 22nd birthday.
The third-year University of Newcastle student was selected as one of the institute's team captains for the 2014 Eastern University Games alongside Australian open ultimate frisbee player and University Blues recipient Chris Hill.
The games return to the city this Sunday for the first time since 2003 and will see about 3000 university and TAFE students from NSW and the ACT compete in 17 sports.
Among them will be Brady, who has captained Newcastle university's women's hockey team for two years.
Brady grew up in Bathurst as the youngest of five children in a hockey-mad family.
She was five when she first picked up a hockey stick; her natural talent evident in her performance in local competitions.
In 2012 Brady moved to Newcastle to start a combined Bachelor of Arts/Primary Teaching degree.
She is now one of the university's leading goal scorers on the women's hockey team.
The vivacious striker typically nets one goal per game, but has been known to score hat-tricks with ease.
Brady will join dozens of other first-grade players this Sunday when the hockey component of the university games kicks off at the Newcastle International Hockey Centre.
Brady said she was looking forward to a great competition, both on and off the field.
The games will run until Thursday, July 10.
All events are free. Go to unisport.com.au/nusport for more information.