Palmerston North College Hockey Club wins HNZ Club of the Year

College Hockey Club’s success stretches far beyond the playing field, with a very sharp focus on governance, community engagement, quality coaching, having fun, sharing information with their club members, and creating a benchmark for club atmosphere.

Club Management

  • In the 2021 season, College had a committee of 12 people who met once a month. The committee’s role was to organise teams, coaches/managers, financials, club apparel, club events, prizegiving, resolve issues and communicate with HMI throughout the season.
  • The committee is already planning for significant growth in the winter club and club youth competitions.
  • College published monthly newsletters to all club members informing them of developments, upcoming events, and more.
  • The club had great sponsorship from the community that allowed them to purchase a new gazebo and banner this season, as well as hold many events

Community Engagement

  • In 2021, College made a real push to engage with people outside of just their players, including
  • A family fun day which allowed members with young children to come down and socialise.
  • A ‘ladies night’ which invited all women involved in the club (players, supporters, wives) to get together.
  • A lawn bowls evening which supported one of our local bowling clubs.
  • An annual quiz night which was a huge success – filling the HMI clubrooms to capacity with members, officials, friends, family and members of the community who enjoy a fun, challenging and rewarding night.
  • The club created a new social membership category for people who didn’t play but wanted to be a part of the club. The memberships entitled them to club apparel, regular updates by email, and invitations to all social events.
  • The committee reformed the College website, where they have put information about the club, photos from events, team photos, and a link to the weekly draws.
  • College HC have developed their social media presence, with having both Facebook and Instagram accounts to interact with the community. They post information about events, the draw for the upcoming weekend, and photos from events. They also post live updates from the games throughout the weekend for people to see even if they aren’t down watching at the turfs.


The club’s 2021 coaches collaborated across the different divisions to come up with the best drills for the players and also to make sure they’re playing the same style of hockey throughout the teams. This facilitated a club culture and style which proved immensely successful, with the club’s teams making 6 of the 7 divisional finals in their club competition (The only final College did not have a team in was a division it had no teams participating in – Men Div 3).

Participation Opportunities

There were a range of participation opportunities this season, including events that catered to all age groups so everyone could get involved.

  • College HC had ten teams in the club competition (5 men’s and 5 women’s). This meant that anyone, regardless of ability, would be able to play and enjoy themselves.
  • The committee held an Umpiring 101 with Dave Tomlinson (who is a member of the club) for all club members to attend to cover any questions regarding the rules or how to become an umpire. The club is keen to promote and support members of the club to take up umpiring and felt this would help.


The club has had two women’s teams in the Premier division (premier team and development team) for the last 2 years, which has exposed more players to top level hockey. It also has 2 similar teams in the women’s Premier Reserve competition. The development teams show a mix of youth and experience, and feeds into the two Premier division teams, allowing those players an opportunity to develop their skills further.

  • College HC have also progressed this development pathway on the men’s side, by developing players from a young 4th division side to an experienced level, and being selected for under 18 reps teams.
  • Each week at training the club sets aside part of their turf booking for social teams that don’t normally train, and provide a coach to take their trainings once a week for the players who want the opportunity to develop
  • The club has a strong family base and large base of former players and members of the club – The Old Timer’s Club. Through sponsorship by the Old Timer’s Club, College gives money to developing players who are representing, or been recognised, at a national level in order to make it easier for them to continue training at the high level
Posted on Tuesday, 10 May, 2022 | Feature