Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Howick Pakuranga Hockey Club marks 50 years

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Howick Pakuranga Hockey Club’s Life Members, from left, John Daniel, Tim Bond, Clive Daniels, Diana Dowdle, Paul Daniel, Kerry Eisenhut and Paula Daniel. John and Paul Daniel are brothers and foundation members.

Howick Pakuranga Hockey Club [HPHC] will mark its 50th birthday on Saturday, May 18.

The club is inviting all current and past members to join in the festivities.
Current president Diana Dowdle says a series of events and matches will run throughout the day at the Lloyd Elsmore Hockey Stadium and everyone is welcome.

The HPHC men’s club was founded in 1974. Conversations between Keith Armstrong, a young teacher at Pakuranga College, and 7th former and 1st XI captain, John Daniel in 1972, and with Paul Daniel in 1973, developed the vision for a club in the eastern suburbs.

Together with Steve Outram in early 1974, and a band of friends and former students of the college, the club started with two teams in Division 4 of the Auckland competition. The club formed an alliance with the Mt Wellington Ladies Hockey Club in 1977 that developed into the Women’s Section of HPHC in the late 1970s, initially with members from the Mt Wellington Club.

From these humble beginnings the club now ranks among the largest in New Zealand boasting more than 600 members, 15 senior teams, eight youth teams and 19 junior teams.

Howick Pakuranga Hockey Club’s Premier Men’s team.

HPHC has maintained its strong community culture with many generations of families being involved as players, coaches, managers, umpires, committee members or side-line supporters.

“The club is proud of it’s coaching programmes, supporting women to return to hockey, creating a strong family focus in all club activities and supporting all teams to achieve their potential,” says Dowdle.

In 2015, the club introduced an award to recognise players who had been members for 15 years or more. To date, more than 60 players have received it.
“Such long-standing allegiance to the club reflects its culture.”

From the outset, the club also served the wider hockey community, with many going on to be provincial and national representatives as players, officials, coaches, and administrators.

These include current Black Sticks players Hugo Inglis, Blair Tarrant, Kane Russell, Sam Lane, Luke Holmes, Malachi Buschl, Alia Jacques, Tyler Lench and Alex Lukin.

Since 1974, the club has benefitted from the leadership of numerous outstanding presidents, and the current president is no exception. Dowdle began as president of the junior club in the early 2000s, then became president of the youth club before taking on the senior club in 2008.

“Her involvement and dedication to the club now spans more than 20 years and the current healthy state of the club is in large part due to her hard work and dedication,” a club spokesperson says.

“Diana’s contribution to hockey has been recognised at a national level with her appointment to the Hockey New Zealand Board in 2023, joining founding member John Daniel who still has strong associations with the club whilst also supporting hockey in Otago.”

While it has much to celebrate, HPHC maintains a strong future focus, and invites anyone with a connection to the club, past or current, to join in the celebrations on Saturday, May 18, at Lloyd Elsmore Hockey Stadium (all matches involve Howick Pakuranga teams). A celebration dinner follows at 7pm at the Howick Club.

The day’s schedule:
· 8am, Junior games, with sausage sizzles and face painting through the morning
· 1pm – 5pm, Senior matches with Premier Women 1pm, and Premier Men 2.30pm
· 7pm, Celebration dinner at the Howick Club
For more information, email president@hphockey.org.nz

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