The first official Alumni for Australia’s national men’s and women’s hockey teams, the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos, have been established. Hockey Australia, together with a host of current and former players, have driven the initiative to connect and reconnect those who have donned the green and gold at senior level in field hockey for their country.
The Alumni are for players who have represented Australia at hockey and been ‘capped’ as a Kookaburra or Hockeyroo at a sanctioned international match or tournament. “We are really excited about getting this Alumni project activated for all past and current players,” said Hockey Australia CEO Matt Favier. “This Alumni will strengthen links with past, current, and emerging players to create mutually beneficial opportunities for individuals, while honouring and celebrating the past and those who were involved.’ “For the sport of hockey in Australia, which has such a rich history, with remarkable people and an incredible international performance profile, the establishment of an official Alumni for the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos is long overdue and we are thrilled to launch them.” “The primary focus is to foster and support meaningful engagement with past and present national team players and build on their connection of having played hockey for Australia at one time or another.”
Kookaburras and Hockeyroos Alumni Committees, comprising past and present players, will be created to oversee the concept. “The players that have played over time are so diverse and dispersed, and the journeys for each of the Men’s and Women’s national teams is different,” said Favier. “While this Alumni project encompasses both the Kookaburras and the Hockeyroos, it is fitting to have separate groups. I want to thank the two working groups who have provided invaluable assistance.” The initial Kookaburras Alumni working group includes David Wansbrough OAM, Stuart Carruthers, Scott Fitzpatrick, Matt Swann, Trent Mitton, Johan Durst and Tyler Lovell. The Kookaburras’ most decorated player, Jamie Dwyer OAM, said he is delighted that Hockey Australia has shown the initiative to get this Alumni started. “To get this Alumni together so we can keep or get in contact with past or present players is really important,” said Dwyer. “When you’re an athlete you’re giving everything to be the best athlete you can be, so once you finish playing, to be able to connect with others, build friendships with other guys who played for the Kookaburras and have them help to guide and support you after sport is great.”
The Hockeyroos Alumni working group comprises Juliet Haslam OAM, Sharon Buchanan OAM, Louise Dobson OAM, Lorraine Hillas, Jane Claxton, Jodie Kenny, Steph Kershaw and Rachael Lynch. On being part of the Hocekyroos Alumni working group, Triple Olympian and gold medallist Buchanan said, “For me, the establishment of the Hockeyroos Alumni is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect through our shared and different memories and experiences.” “I’m excited to be a part of bringing generations of Hockeyroos together and celebrating incredible sporting women.” Current Hockeyroos co-captain Jodie Kenny said, “There is something really special about being a Hockeyroo and it forms a huge part of your identity.” “It’s going to be amazing to be able to connect with the absolute legends of our game who have given this sport and the Hockeyroos brand such an amazing legacy to live by.” “As a current player we have so much to learn from these former players, but we also have a lot to share so I’m really excited to be part of this Alumni.”
There will be dedicated private LinkedIn and Facebook pages set up for both groups, in addition to regular e-newsletters and various planned events and gatherings when possible throughout each year. Any former Kookaburras and Hockeyroos are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com respectively to register their interest and provide/update their details. At present, 431 people have represented the Kookaburras, while 504 have taken the field for the Hockeyroos.