Kohlhase game for hon­our

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By BEN ROGERS

IT WAS the fast-paced na­ture of soft­ball that first hooked Ed­die Kohlhase into the game.

He was 13 and keen to fol­low in his fa­ther’s foot­steps, so he joined the Marist Soft­ball Club, based in Pen­rose.

Now the West­mere res­i­dent has been for­mally recog­nised for his ser­vices to soft­ball as a Mem­ber of the New Zealand Or­der of Merit.

‘‘Get­ting the award is a fan­tas­tic ac­knowl­edge­ment of those people who have helped me.’’

The Auck­lan­der spent his en­tire ca­reer play­ing for Marist and says win­ning ti­tles with them is some­thing that has been re­ally im­por­tant and sat­is­fy­ing for him.

He first played for the Black Sox in 1983 and was part of the 1984 world cham­pi­onship win­ning side.

In­jury forced him to hang up the cleats in 1995, so he changed his fo­cus to coach­ing. In 1998 he was ap­pointed as­sis­tant na­tional coach un­der Don Tricker and was in­volved in world cham­pi­onship wins in 2000 and in 2004. He was named head coach of the Black Sox in 2004 and re­mained in that role un­til his re­tire­ment last year.

In his fi­nal year as coach he took the Black Sox to the 2013 world ti­tle which they won on home soil at North Shore’s Rosedale Park.

‘‘The Black Sox have been at the peak of their game for a long time and I think that will con­tinue un­der new coach Mark Soren­son.’’

The fa­ther-of-two is now a High Per­for­mance Sport NZ coach­ing con­sul­tant but still finds time to coach a Marist un­der-15 side and is in­volved with the ju­nior Auck­land soft­ball rep­re­sen­ta­tive sides. A proud St Peter’s old boy, Kohlhase has two sons at the col­lege and coaches the school’s soft­ball team.

Kohlhase be­lieves the sport has to tar­get school-age play­ers to boost num­bers and re­turn the sport to its glory days of the six­ties and seven­ties.

‘‘It’s a fan­tas­tic sport in­volved in,’’ he says.

to be

Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Top hon­our:

Black Sox head coach Ed­die Kohlhase at the 2013 ISF Men’s World Soft­ball Cham­pi­onship.

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