FIH award for North Harbour stalwart

Hockey New Zealand Board member and North Harbour stalwart Sharon Williamson was awarded the HRH Sultan Azlan Shah Award at the FIH Congress at the weekend.

The award recognises outstanding contributions to the development of hockey.

While Williamson has had a lifelong involvement in hockey, it is her leadership of the National Hockey Centre in Albany that is unquestionably her most significant achievement.

New Zealand’s premier hockey venue is the home of North Harbour’s growing 8000-strong hockey community, our Black Sticks squads and top-tier international events. It includes five turfs, including two of international standard.

The National Hockey Centre hosted its first international matches between the Vantage Black Sticks and Belgium on 1st February 2020. Photo: Simon Watts/


As Chair of the centre’s Governance Group, many have commented that the facility would not be a reality today without her input, drive and commitment.

Sharon’s contribution was critical in the development of three full sets of building plans on three separate locations and a full lease process, on top of numerous hours spent liaising with a wealth of stakeholders.

Building and maintaining relationships is where Sharon comes into her own, and the strength of the many complex relationships within this project ensured some incredibly tight timeframes were met.

In addition to her stellar work on the National Hockey Centre, Sharon’s involvement with North Harbour Hockey has spanned a lifetime as a player, coach, manager, donor, acting Chief Executive, Board member and Harbour Hockey Charitable Trustee.

Williamson was also awarded the Pakistan Trophy (outstanding contribution to the administration of hockey) at the Hockey New Zealand Annual Awards last month.

Posted on Saturday, 22 May, 2021 | CommunityFeature