UCHC Legends

by | Jan 26, 2023

In continuation of our recent ‘Legends of UCHC’ series, another unsung legend is Jim Currie.

Jim joined UCHC six years ago. He is a man of many skills and talents. He is a hockey player, CHA umpire, and photographer, and in the past has had a hand in coaching, managing and being a UCHC committee member. Chances are you’ve seen him at the turf doing one of those things after being dragged down to the turf by his daughter Hannah. Or was it Jim dragging Hannah to the turf? It’s always been hard to tell who the bigger UCHC fan is…

Last year Jim took on one of the most thankless jobs, the club Umpiring Co-ordinator. Jim put in some serious mahi for the club. For that the club respects his efforts immensely and we think everyone owes him a genuine thank you. But Jim doesn’t just umpire for us, he’s a stalwart of Canterbury Hockey umpiring and a growing talent. If you ever see Jim on your game, you know you’re in fair hands.

In case that wasn’t enough, Jim has organised and played masters hockey for many years. Coming from a committee who organises the rest of the club, this effort can be neither understated or undervalued.

On top of providing those services to UCHC and the wider hockey community, Jim has been coaching, managing and playing in his own team. His success with the Division 3 Apache Men hit an all time high in 2018, leading them to the CHA Division 3 Men’s Championship title. Jim epitomises the best of UCHC, and is a truly valued member of our volunteers.

Jim’s decided to take a step back from the committee this year after many years of services. However you can rest assured that he will still be turfside repping the UCHC maroon. His attitude and professionalism on behalf of the club have always been beyond reproach, and we hope that this post goes some way to show our appreciation to him.

Thanks for everything Jim!

Behind every good organisation are great people working behind the scenes. They are the pillars of success and are the lifeblood of the club. In University’s case, this person bleeds maroon.

Greer Donovan started her UCHC career in the legendary Mayan’s team of 2014. The calls of midweek hockey drew her to the Aztecs, where she became part of the infamous women’s premier social team.

With growing enthusiasm, Greer quickly moved up the food chain where she began her life on the committee. An innovator for new projects and roles, Greer filled important positions for the club through 2015-2017, starting with her role as Debt Collector and Treasurey involvement. Ruthlessly efficient in this position, Greer became notorious round the club. Rumour has it she even tracked down a player’s father at work to get to her target.

Greer’s playing career took an international turn, when she helped successfully demolish the touring Australian foes ‘The Albies’ (University of New England, NSW). Her competitive success continued with her return to Sunday hockey for the Div 2 Amazon’s, as well as featuring in some games for the UCHC Div 1 side.

Greer’s hockey involvement continued to grow through important leadership positions with Shirley Boys hockey teams alongside her UCHC efforts, and 2018 has undoubtedly being her most successful year to-date. She continued her time on the committee as the inaugural Senior Manager, and even found time to begin the revamp of the Div 1 women in the Manager role. One of Greer’s biggest achievements for the club was the successful roll out of a new uniform and club brand in the 2018 season. Over a period of 8 months Greer lead a merchandise team to success by doggedly chasing suppliers for the best designs, quality and prices. This lead to a strong relationship with our new supplier Kooga, and a flood of maroon being seen around Canterbury Hockey with new uniforms, hoodies and coaching jackets.

Greer has stuck through the club in a transformative period, having a huge hand in continuing the growth and success of UCHC. She has stepped back from a formal committee role following the 2018 season, but will always have a presence with UCHC and a strong voice on the side-lines!

Thanks for everything you’ve given Greer. You’ve been a club stalwart, and we ‘dread’ losing you on the committee.

Yours truly,
UCHC Committee

Great people make great clubs, and UCHC would like to honour Charlotte Edwards for making our club great.

Charlotte has been a backbone of UC Hockey since her tenure began 2014. Spread across all aspects of the club, she has been a steadfast champion seeing UCHC flourish. Charlotte has influenced Canterbury Hockey widely, through her contributions as club committee member, team manager, player and CHA competitions committee member.

She began playing in 2014 for Div 3 Mayan’s before deservedly rising through the ranks to captain the Div 2 Amazon’s in 2017. She then competed in the UCHC Dunedin exchange, before cracking the Div 1 Huns the following year.

Her time on the committee started as a Co-op role under the guidance of Deb and Josh in 2015. She stepped up capably into the club’s #2 position of Secretary the year after, bringing a dedicated and thorough leadership style to this pivotal position. Having substantial input in a transformative period, Charlotte has had extensive influence across the new look committee in recent years. She has stayed through 2018 and 2019 as an Advisor involved in several special projects and mentoring roles, having also been voted on as Vice-President by the 2017 committee.

There is always more room for hockey though. Charlotte has also been a popular manager of the Div 1 Men’s team for three seasons. In 2018/19 she has taken on two major projects, the first, working towards a full club uniform roll out. The second is the re-write of the UCHC constitution, a big effort that will affect club members for years to come. Charlotte has also put her recently earned law degree to use for the club as legal counsel helping the club in a few tricky spots.

But not content with only helping UCHC, she has given valued service to the CHA competitions committee. This is a role only gained by nomination and is not easily appointed. She has brought impressive professionalism to her role and is bringing fresh ideas and perspective on behalf of all the players in Canterbury.

A final highlight was being awarded the esteemed UC Blues Award for Service to Sport in 2018. This was deserved recognition for someone who had put forward so much for the benefit of others alongside her studies at UC.It is with great pride that the club congratulates Charlotte on all her successes.

To reflect her ongoing efforts and committee standing, UCHC is proud to announce her re-appointment to Vice-President for 2019. She is a valued club stalwart and has been the fire that’s kept UCHC continually improving and striving for greatness. We look forward to seeing her successes in the future!

Bryce was a massive contributor to UCHC since his debut in his first year at UC, first playing for the UCHC Premier Unicorns in 2013. He has accumulated over 100 caps for the team which is a massive achievement, and we are proud of the way Bryce shaped the team and also the club with his influence using his trademark steel sharp focus on excellence. In his most recent years, this influence extended to captaining the team, including pushing them to their first challenge shield win in almost a decade in the Unicorn’s first game of 2020.

His other contributions to the club include both coaching and committee work. Bryce coached the Division 1 men’s team between 2016-2018, and was instrumental in coaching various players up into the Premier men’s team. His efforts were reflected in the Player Development committee role that he held between 2017-2019 where he helped put in mahi behind the scenes and mentor incoming committee members to help the club run smoothly and deliver great hockey to all parts of the club. His greatest club contributions include laying down many of the frameworks that the club still follows today, including our trials planning, parts of our new constitution introduced in 2019, and being the main driving force behind the creation of our club Code of Conduct.

During his time with UCHC, Bryce grew a lot as a player and a man, representing the Canerbury Senior men with the Beavers multiple times. He is also a very handy umpire, having done his fair share of volunteer umpire around Canterbury. His skill on the turf was matched by his passion for the club off the turf, exemplified by him winning our clubs top award, the Keith Thompson Cup, twice, in 2017 and 2018.

Bryce, aka Brizzle, aka Big Rig, it has been a pleasure for the club to watch you grow from a wiley first year student, into the man graduating with his Masters in Engineering Management working as an Engineer at Synlait. Congratulations on your most recent achievements winning both the CPL and Division 1 Men’s competition as a coach, we can’t think of anyone more deserving after all of the years that you have put into yourself to become better at hockey. We wish you all the best for your hockey career, and also thank you as a true UCHC Legend.

Nick Clark joined UCHC in 2012 as a member of the infamous Division 3 ‘Dukes’ who were so dominant that they earned promotion to Division 2 mid-season. Sunday hockey was his home for three years before the allure of the Midweek Mongols became too strong. Clarkey, as he is known to many, was pivotal in the development of UCHC’s Premier Social Men’s side. As Clarkey goes, this team’s legacy will remain resolute.

Nick’s passion for the club became evident as he joined the committee ranks as Treasurer in 2015. Nick rose to the challenge of President in 2017 and led the club successfully through a transformative period training many new committee members into their roles. In 2019 Nick took a step back from the role as head honcho but he stayed involved in a successful handover. During the step-back, Nick was a diligent amassing well over $25,000 during his time on the committee.

Nick has certainly put in the mahi and is well overdue for his treats. UCHC was always the priority, even going so far as to potentially jeopardise his career by hiring his workplace’s function room for the 2018 prize giving!

Nick is jetting off to see the world with the first Lady of UCHC, Saira, before resettling in Wellington. He will be greatly missed but we know he is a UC hockey lover for life and definitely bleeds maroon!
Thanks for all your years of hard work Nick. You have been incredibly loyal, reliable and devoted to the club for 7 years and we wish you well for the future.

A legend of Canterbury sport Keith Thomson sadly passed away on 26 January 2023.

Keith played both hockey and cricket for New Zealand and was one of the few people of having the honour of being a double international as he represented his country at two sports.

Keith played club hockey for the University of Canterbury under the legendary Cyril (C.V.) Walter and also for Hagley High School Old Boys alongside his brother Bill. Keith represented Canterbury at hockey from 1959 to 1974 and New Zealand from 1961 to 1971 including playing 28 tests. His stint in the New Zealand team included attending the 1968 Mexico Olympics with his brother Bill Thomson also being included in the team.

He also excelled at cricket with Keith being a legend of the Sydenham Cricket Club. Keith represented Canterbury in 71 games from the 1959-60 season through to 1973-74. In this time he made 5 first class centuries. He also played 2 test matches and had a very respectable batting average of 31 which included a high score of 69 v India in 1968.

After retiring from both cricket and hockey Keith became an international hockey umpire and a first-class cricket umpire (he was also the third umpire in a Test at the Basin Reserve).

Keith was extremely instrumental in revitalising the University of Canterbury hockey club after a period of very difficult years. Keith coached the team from 1993 to 2002 and saw the team climb from last in the competition to winning the Canterbury CPL Presidents Shield in 2000 and 2001. During this time he coached a number of players that went on to represent New Zealand and followed C.V Walter’s coaching philosophy of the importance of mastering the basic skills. However, the biggest impact he had on players was making trainings, games and the bar afterwards so much fun. He made hockey so enjoyable both on and off the field and created a wonderful team culture & spirit. This is what sport should always be about.

Keith was both a Life Member of the Sydenham Cricket Club and University of Canterbury Hockey Club.

He will be very much missed by his family and the hockey & cricket communities.

A celebration of Keith’s life will be held on 2 February 2023 with details to be noted in The Christchurch Press.

Thank you to Andrew Hastie for writing this article.