Award hon­ours Leesa

Benalla Ensign - - Hockey | Golf - By Ge­or­gia Smith

Hockey holds a spe­cial hearts of the Pur­cell fam­ily.

As does the Leesa Pur­cell Memo­rial Tro­phy — a trib­ute do­nated to the Goul­burn Val­ley Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion on be­half of the Pur­cell fam­ily, as a trib­ute to their beloved daugh­ter and sis­ter.

Leesa, who sadly passed away in 2016, was well known within the Be­nalla com­mu­nity as a tal­ented hockey player.

With her mother Mau­reen, grand­mother Ber­nice, sis­ters and aun­ties all play­ing hockey for Be­nalla, there is lit­tle won­der where her love of the game stemmed from.

Leesa was a skill­ful de­fender who rep­re­sented the GVHA in ju­nior and se­nior tour­na­ments, play­ing for SYC, Mooroopna and Strik­ers, as well as rep­re­sent­ing the Vic­to­rian State Hockey team.

This year the tro­phy was awarded to Mooroopna player Gabby Carde­mone, who place in the demon­strated through­out the sea­son many of the qual­i­ties set out in Leesa’s cri­te­ria.

Each year the Leesa Pur­cell Memo­rial Tro­phy will be awarded to an up and com­ing un­der-18 fe­male player who demon­strates club com­mit­ment, fair­ness, de­ter­mi­na­tion and per­sis­tence on and off the field, as well as high lead­er­ship qual­i­ties to support other play­ers and the team.

Leesa’s sis­ter Christine said Leesa was also highly recog­nised within Hockey Aus­tralia and the Aus­tralian De­fence Force, rep­re­sent­ing the ADF in many tour­na­ments and play­ing in the win­ning team at the Aus­tralian Coun­try Championship.

‘‘On be­half of the Pur­cell fam­ily we wish to thank the GVHA for sup­port­ing Leesa’s mem­ory and recog­nis­ing the qual­i­ties that young girls dis­play, just as Leesa did,’’ Christine said.

The Pur­cell fam­ily hopes the Leesa Pur­cell Memo­rial Tro­phy will be awarded to young ris­ing hockey stars for many years to come.

Rapt: Peter Pur­cell, Leesa Pur­cell Memo­rial Hockey Award win­ner for 2018 Gabby Carde­mone, Chrissy Pur­cell and coach Michael Neil­son.

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