Life Membership of Sutherland Hockey Club, our highest honour, has been conferred on Grant Hollyman.
The proposal was put to the annual general meeting last night by Jay Holly, who said Grant’s contributions to Sutho in coaching, playing and administration made him a worthy recipient of Sutherland Hockey Club Life Membership.
Jay told the meeting that Grant has been involved in hockey as a player, coach, administrator, volunteer and supporter his whole life. He joined Sutherland in 1980 as an Under 11s player and, “some 40 years later, Grant’s passion for the Sutho blue is as strong as ever.
“As a junior, Grant was a part of multiple premiership-winning and representative teams, playing for Sutho all the way through the age ranks to Under 17. At age 14 he debuted in Senior Men’s hockey and worked his way through the grades to ultimately, as a fresh-faced 18-year-old, make his 1st Grade Premier League debut in 1990.”
Grant’s achievements included:
1991 Sutho’s inaugural 1st Grade Senior Men’s Premier League title team member, beating Moorebank 1-0. 1st Grade Senior Men’s Premierships in 1992, 1998 (bench) and 2004 (bench), becoming one of a handful of former/current players to win four 1st Grade Senior Men’s titles.
1996 Member of New Zealand’s Sommerville Hockey Club premiership tea (later bringing Kiwi international Casey Henwood to Sutho in future years.
Back in the Shire and at Sutho, Grant was a senior player, Captain and Captain-Coach of Sutho’s 2nd Grade Senior Men’s team winning an amazing five premierships in 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004 & 2006.
2007 Grant retired from playing senior men’s hockey, but then he took on the role of Coach of the 1st Grade Senior Women’s team. Grant coached Sutho’s ladies to the club’s first-ever 1st-grade three-peat, winning 1st Grade Senior Women’s Premier League titles in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
2014 Grant was appointed Coach of Sutho’s 1st Grade Senior Men’s team and was at the helm through to the end of 2016, narrowly being beaten by Moorebank in the Grand Final. Throughout these years, Grant was integral in building the base for the success of Sutho’s 1st Grade Men’s premiership win in 2017.
“Not one to stay on the sidelines, Grant returned to coaching, taking on the role of Assistant Coach of the 2nd Grade Senior Men’s team, again tasting premiership success in 2020,” Jay said.
Throughout the years, Grant has volunteered his time to support the club and senior men administratively, holding various Committee positions as well as being Club Captain/Chairman of Selectors (1st-3rd Grade Senior Men) over many years. He has also been awarded the prestigious Male Player of the Year on four occasions.
“Grant was known as a player who, in giving his all to the game and the team, lifted those around him. From the early years, his commitment, passion and determination were known to carry teams through tough games when results mattered. He held himself and those around him to high standards, rarely missed training, games or social events. He worked hard to ensure everyone was part of the team and club’s success.
” It was how Grant played, trained and celebrated that made the difference. We stand on the shoulders of his character as well as his achievements today.”
Pictures: Grant urging on Sutho’s second grade team in this year’s grand final, and the result: The Win.