The Fans of HockeyWorld Hockey NewsSharland and Wilson named best Black Sticks Hockey Players

27th April, 2013: Co-captain Kayla Sharland and striker Nick Wilson have taken out the top honours at the Hockey New Zealand Annual Awards Dinner held in Auckland tonight.

Michaela Curtis (right) congratulates Kayla Sharland after scoring at the Gallagher Hockey Centre in Hamilton tonight against USA (Photo Credit:

File Photo: Kayla Sharland being congratulated for a goal by Michaela Curtis (Photo Credit:

Both were presented with the 2012 Player of the Year Award and acknowledged for their consistently exceptional performance throughout the year, especially during the London Olympics.

The Under-21 Player of the Year was handed to Dunedin drag flicker Kane Russell while hard working defender Sam Charlton collected the women’s equivalent.

A plumbing apprentice, Russell has worked his way into the Black Sticks over the last two years and is now regularly outclassing the opposition with his trademark drag flick.

Born and bred in Tauranga and studying a Bachelor of Science majoring in psychology and geography at Massey University, Sam Charlton wowed crowds at the London Olympics.

Head coach Mark Hager said that in the build-up to the Olympics “while others doubted themselves, Sam was working harder. She was willing to learn to become the best, and she delivered at the Olympics.”

During the AGM, Kevin Towns was inducted as a Hockey New Zealand Life Member. Towns has given 35 years of service to hockey as a player, coach of the men’s and women’s national teams, as a Hockey New Zealand high performance manager and has held various roles at his Sommerville Hockey Club in Auckland.

Canterbury Hockey Association Chair Sandra Pooch was presented with the Pakistan Trophy – which goes to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the administration of hockey in New Zealand.

Pooch has provided exceptional leadership to Canterbury Hockey over the past two years allowing the association to cope with the adversity and challenges it has faced.
Under her leadership, participation numbers have grown and Canterbury have won seven national age-group and premier 2012 titles. In addition, they have announced a solid financial result and developed a new home base at Nunweek Park with the build of a third turf and relocation of the Canterbury Hockey offices.

Other volunteers and administrators throughout the country were acknowledged for the contribution they make. Ten people received Bronze Awards for giving 15-19 years of service, two people received Silver Awards for 20-24 years of service and seven people were presented with Gold Awards for over 25 years of service.

“There are so many exceptional people in hockey that give endless hours to improving the sport and giving people the opportunity to play the game they love. These awards are about acknowledging them – they make the sport happen,” says Hockey New Zealand chief executive Hilary Poole.

Kelly Hudson and Nigel Iggo took out the 2012 Umpire of the Year award for the second year in a row and Lucy Townend and Bevan Nichol were awarded the Most Promising Umpires of the Year.

The awards evening also celebrated the Silver Anniversary of Hockey New Zealand, after the men’s and women’s form of the game merged in 1988 to form the New Zealand Hockey Federation.

Award recipients


Female player of the year: Kayla Sharland, Christchurch (Ford NHL team – Central)
Male player of the year: Nick Wilson, Palmerston North (Ford NHL team  – Central)

Female Under-21 player of the year: Sam Charlton, Tauranga (Ford NHL team – Midlands)
Male Under-21 player of the year: Kane Russell, Dunedin (Ford NHL team – Southern)


Female Umpire of the Year: Kelly Hudson, Tauranga
Male Umpire of the Year: Nigel Iggo, Canterbury

Most promising female umpire of the year: Lucy Townend, Palmerston North
Most promising male umpire of the year: Bevan Nichol, Hamilton


Hockey New Zealand Life Member: Kevin Towns, Auckland
Bio: Kevin is described as a ‘quintessential hockey person.’ Born in 1948, he has lived and breathed hockey since the 1950’s. In that time he has been a successful player at a local, provincial and national level. A keen student of the game he has coached men and women at all levels since the mid 1970’s with considerable success. Notably, he took the Men’s team to a silver medal at the Manchester Commonwealth Games. Kevin has managed the national teams, been heavily involved in the Sommerville Hockey Club in various roles since 1975. He has coached both Wellington and Auckland teams and was also High Performance Manager at Hockey New Zealand. A thoughtful, loyal person with a real sense of fairness, generous with his time and ever so humble. Kevin has given a lifetime of exemplary service to hockey in New Zealand.

Pakistan TrophyA person who has provided an outstanding contribution to the administration of hockey in New Zealand.
Sandra Pooch, Canterbury
Bio: Sandra has provided exceptional leadership as Chair to Canterbury Hockey over the past two years allowing the association to cope with the adversity and challenges it has faced since the loss of Porritt Park. Under her leadership the results have been outstanding, including:

  • A three per cent increase in its player base during 2011-2012.
  • Strong local competition has continued despite turf shortages
  • The development at Nunweek – two new turfs, and relocation of the administration offices.
  • The Hockey Academy South and the regional talent programme has been set up
  • Canterbury Hockey has had a solid financial result – operating surplus of the association of $126,000, before insurance proceeds.
  • In 2012 Canterbury won the following: Canterbury Cats won the Ford NHL, Under 18 A boys and girls, Under 15 B girls, Under 13 girls and boys, and Masters 55+ won.

Sandra is passionate about hockey in the region, can see the big picture and is able to take a consensus view to reach the best outcome.

Gold Award For 25 years or more service to hockey
Maraea Casey, Buller
Carleen James, Buller
Deborah Forsyth, Buller
Kerry Dyson, Canterbury
David Annear, Manawatu
Shelley Mills, Manawatu
J David Attwood, South Canterbury

Silver AwardBetween 20 and 24 years of service to hockey
Stephen Lawton, Manawatu
Lynne Whittaker, Tauranga

Bronze AwardsBetween 15 and 19 years of service to hockey
Pamela Thompson, Canterbury
Warren Banks, Manawatu
Jackie Hutchins, Manawatu
David Tomlinson, Manawatu
Rosalie Winter, Nelson
Martin Glossop, Otago
Mark Greenfield, Otago
Paul Collins, Tauranga
Sue Furmage, Tauranga
Jo Luckin, Waikato.

Hockey New Zealand

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