The South Australian Hockey Association was formed in 1903 as a result of Navy personnel introducing hockey into South Australia. Hockey was played predominantly by women, but men’s competitions started at the turn of the century, and the association was formed to support these players. Forestville hockey club was formed in 1905 and is the oldest hockey club in both South Australia and Australia.
The South Australian competition has been running since 1901, and the South Parklands of Adelaide were used as the competition’s first venue. A pre-game warm-up in the Parklands, was to pick all the cowpats from the playing field. Once the surface had been cleared, it was time to play!
Men’s hockey acquired the use of Birkalla Polo Grounds to play their competitions. With eight fields available to them, these fields became the home of men’s hockey until 1955.
With the steady development of club facilities, the lack of an association headquarters was not a major concern to clubs, although from time to time the issue was raised during the 1960’s, with the most notable efforts involving discussions with Enfield Council in the area now known as Regency Park.
In 1997 South Australia has synthetic pitches in Seacliff, Southern Parklands, West Beach, Port Adelaide, Woodville, and Golden Grove, with an international standard water-based synthetic at Gepps Cross, the new home of the South Australian Hockey Association.
The clubs within the association have changed names and amalgamated over the years, and there are now 23 metropolitan clubs and 11 country associations around the state.
Domestic competitions are only part of South Australian hockey. Over the years South Australia has had teams in National Championships with juniors starting as young as under 13. With under 15, under 18 and under 21 competitions at junior level, a solid base of top quality hockey is accessible to the up and coming juniors, both male and female.
These National Championships take a second place to the Senior National Championships, now in the form of the Australian Hockey League (AHL). South Australia has had teams in the senior competition to play the other states since the early 1900’s, and had success with the Diet Coke Suns (women’s AHL) winning the title in 1995.
From these National Titles, players have the opportunity to play against the best players in the country, with the National Selectors viewing the matches. A difficult selection process has to take place taking into consideration the form of the players in the tournament, as well as previous performances and potential of players. The players that the selectors believe will help Australia win games are selected into the Australian squad and the rigorous training begins
Australian players have the opportunity to play against the World’s best in International competitions. The top teams in the world compete in tournaments like the Olympics, the World Cup, The Champions Trophy, Four Nation Tournaments and also take tours to countries that have elite teams.
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIANS
|1968 Mexico City
Robert Haigh SILVER MEDAL1972 Munich
|1984 Los Angeles
Sue Watkins1988 Seoul
Sandi Pisani OAM GOLD MEDAL
Paul Lewis SILVER MEDAL
Juliet Haslam OAM
Alison Peek OAM1996 Atlanta
Paul Lewis BRONZE MEDAL
Juliet Haslam OAM GOLD MEDAL
Alison Peek OAM GOLD MEDAL
Juliet Haslam OAM GOLD MEDAL
Katie Allen OAM GOLD MEDAL
Craig Victory BRONZE MEDAL2004 Athens
Grant Schubert GOLD Medal