My Personal Sporting Involvement - Amateur clubs
University Blues Football Club
I have been involved with an amateur Australian football club for 36 years.
I commenced as a player for University Blues in 1972 and have been a committee member virtually ever since. I served as President from 1974 to 1979 and then again after returning from overseas in 1983-4. Since then I have been a sponsor of the club and co-ordinate the medical coverage of the teams. I was awarded Life Membership of the Melbourne University Football Club in 1978.
Bob Girdwood and I have both been involved with the Blues for over 40 years. We waited a long time for that premiership.
I also skied for Melbourne University in the Intervarsity competitions, being captain and Melbourne University champion in 1972. I served a term as President of the Melbourne University Ski Club in 1973. I played competitive tennis and cricket at elite schoolboy level.
I have had a long involvement with two hockey clubs in Melbourne, 15 years with TEM and the past five years with the Powerhouse club.
TOORAK EAST MALVERN (TEM) HOCKEY CLUB
I initially became involved with TEM because I seemed to be spending half my life at the club watching my three boys play. I headed the junior section of the club increasing the number of junior teams from 11 in 2000, to 14 teams in 2001, 18 teams in 2002 and in 2005, 23 teams. The junior division regularly won the Ernie Johns Trophy for the Best Junior Boys Club (2004, 2005, 2006), and the Sue Hounslow Trophy for Best Junior Girls Club (2005, 2006, 2007).
Despite never having played the game I took on a coaching role and gained a Level 2 coaching certificate from Hockey Victoria. In 2009 I coached the Under 17A TEM team to win the Ric Purser Shield, the top junior hockey competition in the state.
Two years previously my older son Charles had coached the same team to the Under 15 George Stapleton Shield. Bill played in both teams.
In 2004 I took over as V-P Mens Division when the club was struggling with four teams and its top team at the bottom of the second division. In 2006 we gained promotion back into State League 1 after a lengthy absence and in 2007 finished one point outside the four after a dramatic last round victory against Essendon. In 2008 TEM maintained their position in State league 1 but at the conclusion of the 2009 season we were relegated back into State League 2. After dominating SL2 in 2010 and winning the premiership, we were promoted back into SL1 for 2011. Our young team struggled but eventually survived in SL1.
In 2003 and again in 2007 I was awarded the highest honour of the TEM Hockey Club, the Bruce Rulston Award for Outstanding Service. In 2004 I was awarded the Barry Penpraze Trophy for Services to Boys Hockey and the Bruce Prossor Trophy for Outstanding Service to Mens Hockey.
I gave up my official positions within the club in 2010 when I moved to the UK, but remained involved as a sponsor and mentor. At the end of the 2013 season the old guard of the club decided they wanted to take control of the club again and promptly sacked our much loved SL1 coach Phil Merriman. As a result the eleven starting members of the SL1 team and Phil decided to leave the club and moved en masse to the Powerhouse Hockey club which had just, for the first time in many years, gained promotion to SL1
POWERHOUSE HOCKEY CLUB
After the traumatic events surrounding the move away from TEM, it was wonderful to be welcomed with open arms by President Anne Cerche and the whole Powerhouse club. In the five years that we have been at PH, we have played in the Premier League finals each year but unfortunately the premiership has eluded us:
2014: Semi Final
2015: Prelim Final
2016: Grand Final
2017: Prelim Final
2018: Prelim Final
I have also been heavily involved in Hockey Victoria activities especially as a member of the State Indoor Hockey Committee, High Performance Committee and at regional level convenor of the Southern Sharks teams.
In 2009 I was elected to the Board of Hockey Australia. Unfortunately, with my move to the UK in 2010 I had to relinquish that position.