Tigers’ milestone matches

Vicki Smith and Mel Haywood. Picture: Jelena Potpara.

CHHA. Four of Circular Head Hockey Association’s ladies celebrated milestone games recently, with Tigers’ Vicki Smith celebrating her 650th game, Mel Haywood (350th), Stacey Champion (200th) and Trish Cute (150th).

Smith started with the Tigers in 1979, one year after the team formed. She clocked up her milestone on the first very game of this season.

“I just love the game,” she said, describing the first time she was introduced to the sport through a video at primary school.

She and her two sisters raced home to tell their mum they wanted to play hockey, and as she puts it: “That was it.”

Smith wants to play for a few more years yet in the hope of playing a game with her granddaughter, who is now in grade two.

Haywood is her side’s second eldest player and says a lot has changed since she first started, describing the game as much quicker.

“When I first started we played on grass. There was a 9am game and a 10.30am game.”

She says her favourite part of the game is the social aspect, and her technique is to “hit and hope”.

Cute, who originally played hockey in Burnie, says she joined the Tigers about six years ago.

“It’s the type of sport that once it’s in your blood you keep going until you drop,” she said.

Champion says she joined the hockey ladies by luck about five years ago, and has reached the milestone figure so soon, often playing in two grades.

“Tigers were short so I borrowed some gear and filled in and have played since.”

She says she was also “bullied into playing goalie for Div 2”.

“I won’t make it to 650 like Vik. She is so encouraging of all the young girls – not only on our team, but all the teams.

“I’ve felt like I’ve always been a part of the Tigers. Everyone just gets on really well.”

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