Life-long love of hockey brings adventure

Deb Brown and the Queensland master team she was managing after winning the National Medal.

By Tania Phillips

An injury didn’t stop Sunshine Coaster Deb Brown’s long association with her beloved hockey – she just changed direction.

Instead of playing at a local, state and national level, Deb turned to administration – managing Qld Masters women’s teams, something she loves.

For Deb hockey has been a life-love starting as a child and passing that love on to her own children.

“I started playing at 12 years of age because my parents played,” she said.

“Back in those days you weren’t allowed to play hockey until you got to high school because it was classed as a bit of a dangerous sport. So until we reached high school you couldn’t play. But as soon as I could, I did. Now our kids started at three. Mum, dad and all the kids, they didn’t have a choice,” she laughed.

“That’s where I’m going to be so that’s where you’re going to be. It’s a good family sports. We spent our formative years watching mum and dad so it was a natural progression.”

She found a lifelong passion for the sport – even now that playing is off the table.

“I can’t play anymore physically because I’m injured – did a knee a very long time ago,” Deb said.

“But I played into my 50s and then I took over as a team manager and a coordinator for the local association organizing the sides to go away to the state championships.

“I started doing that in 2004 and I love it. I can still stay involved as a manager and I decided to nominate as a Queensland team manager in 2012 and I’ve been doing that ever since as well.”

Over the years she has managed the 55s and 60s ladies.

“It’s fun – its two weeks – the nationals go for two weeks at the end of Sëptember. This year they’re in Cairns but I started in Melbourne in 2012 and I’ve now been to every State in Australia by doing this.

“You get to see a little bit (of Australia) you have a couple of rest days and you organize little trips to local attractions with the team.”

Of course, the past two years have been a bit tough, missing out last year when the Queensland team had been due to go to Newcastle for the National titles and the year before was also Cairns.

“We got prepared (both years) but Covid put a stop to that,” she said.

Deb’s story isn’t uncommon with many people becoming lifelong players and supporters. She believes it’s the friendships that players make that keeps them in the sport.

“You have eleven people In your team, at least, so it becomes quite social, especially when you get into Master’s age – over 35s,” she said.

“It’s good, you think you know people but until you get away and that time as a team away from home, you form new friendships and you grow from there. Then you get to make friends with people from other states.

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