A 1918 photo from the UQ Women's Hockey Club.
A 1918 photo from the UQ Women's Hockey Club.
19 July 2012

The first women’s hockey club in Queensland celebrates 100 years of history with a centennial ball this August.

The University of Queensland Women’s Hockey Club, a first for the state back in 1912, will celebrate its centenary with a Centennial Hockey Ball at the Queensland Cricketers’ Club at The Gabba on August 11.

Club president Meg Brodie said the club had come a long way since the long heavy skirts, and clunky hockey sticks of yesteryear – now hosting nine teams, Australian representatives and high-speed play that requires teeth protection.

“That was a slower game back then to what it is today. Today is an incredibly fast game, requiring a lot of tactics and skills. They also didn’t need shin pads or mouth guards,” she said.

“Those players would have been astounded at the uniform of today. We still wore a tie and blouse in the sixties, tucked into a beige tunic.” she said.

The club is hoping past players and supporters will attend the ball, and would ultimately seek to form a club alumni.

“When they were playing they formed friendships and this is a way of renewing those friendships,” she said.

The club’s history dates back to April 1912, when the UQ Sports Union established a women’s hockey club, allocating ten pounds towards equipment.

There were no other women’s hockey clubs in Brisbane at the time. The club travelled to its first intervarsity competition in Sydney in 1919.

In 1923, the UQ team was one of four to plan the formation of a Queensland Women’s Hockey Association, then went on to win the premiership in 1928

During World War II, the players spent their Wednesday sports afternoons digging vegetable gardens at a home for recovering soldiers, their contribution to the war effort.

Players who have represented Australia include Gwen Spurgin, Jean Hyde, Janet Teys and Kay Kindervater, and one of the foremost women’s hockey umpires in the world, Heather Scraggs.

The likes of Alisa McMurray, Judy McGoggan, Joan Carrick, Carol Cave and Robyn Counter have played in the Australian Universities team, while recent Australian Hockeyroos players Nikki Hudson and Katelin Marks have also worn the maroon and blue colours of UQ.

Tickets to the UQ women's hockey Centennial Hockey Ball are $100 per person, which includes a three-course meal, four-hour beverage package, and live entertainment.

RSVPs and payment is required by July 28. To reserve your seat, or for more information, email uqhockey@gmail.com

To learn more about the club and its history visit http://www.uqhockey.com.au/

Media: Lee Oliver, Brisbane Hockey League media liaison (0438 192 790 or Brisbanehockeyleague@yahoo.com.au)