Recognition of Life Members at the Club Classic today

Sutherland Hockey Club was founded in 1965, raised and maintained by volunteers who share a passion for their Club. Life Membership is an honour bestowed on individual club members whose exceptional, loyal, outstanding service and contributions have provided measurable benefit to the Club over an extended period of time.

These members have volunteered countless hours, in numerous roles, to make Sutho into the club it is today. 32 incredible people have received Life Membership, from Josef Krepp and Glen Ayres in 1974 to more recently Margaret Noy and David Richarson in 2022.

When the Club laid the first sand turf, it was a turning point in the game of hockey. Chris Tozer was on the Committee that saw the turf laid. He recalls the gallant efforts of the Sutho community as everyone were “on [their] hands and knees with handmade rakes crawling around the turf getting the fibres back upright after a storm came through before all the sand had been laid”.

The Minkey program has been an important part of the Club since it’s inception in by Warren Hollyman and others. Gary Eggert fondly remembers when he was Minky Co-ordinator with Bev Phillips in 1996 when the Atlanta Olympics were on. They organised a medal match between AUS & NZ for kids. NZ won but all players were given a gold medal made of Golden Roughs on ribbons and then retired to the clubhouse to watch Kieran Perkins win the 1500m.

The success of our Club comes from those who put their hands up to be coaches, managers, trainers and other positions within the Club. Kevin Connelly is a renowned name at Sutherland Hockey Club, and if you don’t recognise it, you can see his legacy through the Schools comp, the number of school players that joined Sutho because of him, and the 17 years of administration developed during his time as Club President. Kevin was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for his services to hockey in 2013.

Family is an integral part of the club and their commitment. The Krepps, Muclairs, Hollymans, Turners, Tozers, Phillips, and many others have multiple generations at the Club. Lyn Hollyman commented “the club is very close to me”, and Warren elaborated “Sutho was a major part of our lives as we were involved as a family, with our sons Grant and John and our son-in-law, Des King together with their families weekend during the season”. Warren and Lyn still frequent the club to watch Grant coach and their grandson play. A dedicated Men’s, Women’s and Junior coach, Grant Hollyman learnt his stuff from his many years playing at the Club, including the 1st Grade Premiers of 1991. Grant has numerous awards on his trophy shelf, but for him is it simple. “Hockey is a great game!”, a highlight was “the 3 premierships that we won when I was the Women’s coach. They were an amazing team of young (and older) ladies”.

Walking into Tradies Hockey Park today, it is easy to see that success in a ‘team sport’. Tony Burcher explained “as Club Captain and on the committee, I worked with some amazing people”. In his role as 1st grade manager then Sprint Coach and Conditioner he “had the pleasure of training some amazing athletes”. Tony continued to say that the key to success as a player is to “train to your absolute max and listen to any skills being imparted by your coaches. The best players learnt my sprint training techniques the best because they listened and trained hard!”.

David Richardson reflects on what Sutherland Hockey Club means to him. “It means being part of a community that enjoy coming together to participate in and progress the game of hockey in the Shire. We all have various backgrounds and things going on in our lives, but as members of the Sutho Hockey Club we have the common thread of being involved in the game of hockey, and wanting the game of hockey to flourish and be enjoyed by more people. And importantly, we come together to play hockey and spend time with likeminded people encouraging/assisting/watching others play hockey.”

An observer of our Life Members can conclude that they love their club, and they are proud to call themselves a Sutho Man or Sutho Woman. Life Member, Gary Eggert passionately said “keep Sutho going!”. David Richardson shared his advice “It’s the journey, not the result. Dwell on the positives of your teammates and club mates, not the niggly negatives that arise. Every situation involves positives and opportunities, regardless of some obvious negatives – you just need to dampen the negatives and focus on the positives”. Sutho continues to be a leading club in Sydney, with a strong junior program and successful senior teams. It provides opportunities to everyone and every skill level.

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