Congratulations to Southern Districts Hockey Club who were named Hockey New Zealand’s 2022 Club of the Year!
Southern Districts Hockey Club have been recognised for their outstanding efforts and achievements across all facets of their delivery of hockey to the community, including some successful new initiatives.
Formed in 1927, Southern Districts have been part of Papatoetoe for over 90 years, based at Kolmar Sports Centre. 2022 was a stellar year for the club, with the Premier Men winning the Intercity competition and both the men’s and women’s Premier teams also winning the Auckland Premierships.
CEO of Auckland Hockey Manoj Daji said “this recognition is well deserved and testament to the work of many very good club members at SDHC including our AKH Life Members Sheryl and Rick Child. The initiatives in place especially in the junior club are evidence of a highly successful sports club who understand their members needs and who have worked with many agencies to remove barriers and ensure our game is inclusive.”
Southern is one our largest clubs with 12 senior teams, 3 Youth teams and 11 Junior teams entered in 2022 Auckland Competitions. The club was also well represented at Black Sticks, North vs South, NZ Pasifika, NZ Indians, Auckland age group Representative and at the first class NHC level.
2022 has also been successful off the turf with the introduction and support of many club initiatives including a Fee Support policy which supported 35 players/Coaches with fees, significantly subsidised Junior and Youth team Fees, and helped provide a contribution to costs for 15 representative players at NPC and North V South level.
Club stalwart and Secretary Sheryl Law said “it is an honour to get the recognition and a great way for hockey and Papatoetoe community to see the work we are doing across all levels. It’s great to see the top as well as grassroots flourish too and a big thank you to all wonderful volunteers, members, supporters and people who have worked so hard over many years to get the club to where it is today and help ensure our community have access to hockey”.
With a strong focus on Junior participation and reducing the barriers of access to hockey, the club was able to fund a Junior Club Administrator for 40 hours of work during the season. They also delivered a range of free programmes including Junior/Youth summer training programmes and a 4 week hockey programme for Years 1-4 and Years 5-8 offered to new and existing players in October which saw 60 participants with almost 50% who were new to hockey which allowed children in the wider community to participate and have a go at hockey.
Southern Districts also ran three Fun Sticks Satellite programmes addressing the challenges of access and transport by providing Hockey for children in Mangere, Manurewa and Clevedon. All gear was provided, and over 100 children had access to hockey over 16 weeks at no cost to the players and families.
The club continued growth in their umpiring programme through their very dedicated Umpire’s Club Captain and the JUMP umpires. Many of these umpires are now umpiring hockey at the senior level and at regional representative level.
The club were also acknowledged at the 2022 AHUA Awards, with Lali Vaka winning Top Junior Male Umpire and Lali Vaka Most Improved Junior Umpire. Southern District’s as well as at the 2022 Auckland Hockey Awards with Kim Kingstone named Auckland Men’s Player of the Year, Izzy Gill Auckland Women’s Player of the Year, Daniel Panchia joint Men’s NHC Players Choice, Emma Rainey Women’s NHC Players Choice and Joe Crooks Men’s NHC Top Goal Scorer. Kalpesh Balu was also recognised for his loyal contribution to hockey with an AKH 15+ Year Gold Service Award.
The club is well supported by a dedicated group of volunteers who ensure the club functions well at Junior, Youth and Senior level, that their players, coaches, umpires and members are well supported and that the club contributes to the wider community through its membership of the Kolmar Sports Centre and Auckland Hockey.
Congratulations Southern Districts on an outstanding achievement as the 2022 Hockey NZ Club of the Year!