Grafton hockey stalwarts get life

GRAFTON Hockey has recognised some of its hardest working and talented leaders with life membership.

Shirley Hillier and Peter Ryder joined the select band of Legends of Grafton Hockey, while Michael Wunderlich and Jeff Thomas were awarded life membership of Grafton Men's Hockey.

No greater honour can be bestowed in Grafton Hockey than being inducted as a Legend, and Hillier and Ryder are worthy additions.

Shirley Hillier

Hillier was awarded life membership of Grafton Women's Hockey in 1992 in recognition of her many roles including vice-president, treasurer, selector, manager, coach and representative player. She has represented NSW on numerous occasions.

Her span of service and commitment to Grafton hockey has been an incredible 34 years.

Peter Ryder

Ryder was named as a Legend due to his fantastic ability to provide new ideas and dynamic input to Grafton Hockey.

He was a foundation member of the Barbarians Hockey Club, of which he is a life member.

His club has junior and men's teams in all age divisions and has produced many state players - a direct result of 17 years of quality coaching by Ryder at senior and junior level.

He led the introduction of an under-9 competition in junior boys, which has had a dramatic impact on player numbers in junior hockey.

Ryder is called 'Peter the Pied Piper' due to his ability to encourage the young players at both club and representative level.

Many of our hockey facilities have been constructed by Ryder and his family in a quiet, no fuss manner.

Ryder is also a life member of Grafton Men's Hockey and has represented NSW in the veterans divisions.

Michael Wunderlich

Michael Wunderlich could be a clone of his father Vic, such has been his commitment to Grafton hockey.

Wunderlich has filled many executive positions in Grafton Men's Hockey, including president and secretary, and has been the backbone of the mighty Avros club for over 25 years.

He is a life member of Avros Hockey club. His coaching and playing prowess has been extensive. Each year he coaches Grafton representative teams and at least a junior and senior team of his club.

Wunderlich has been a NSW representative player from juniors to veterans and is regarded by his fellow team players as an invaluable member of their team.

He is always on the committees and working bees run by the association.

Jeff Thomas

Thomas is a worthy life member of Grafton Men's Hockey.

He was a late arrival on the scene, but has made a dramatic impact with his brilliant administration of junior hockey and the Royals Hockey Club in particular.

He has overseen a major growth in player numbers, both at Royals and also in the junior association.

Thomas has coached and managed teams at representative and club level. His particular interest has been in reviving indoor hockey, resulting in a number of players gaining state indoor representation, but all players improving their close ball skills.

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