‘Our kids played and moved on – I just car­ried on’

Central Leader - - Front Page - By Scott Mor­gan

Hockey coach John An­der­son can’t al­ways keep his eye on the ball.

But that doesn’t stop him de­vot­ing count­less hours to coach­ing the sport he loves.

The Roskill Eden ju­nior coach suf­fered a haem­or­rhage in both eyes eight years ago that re­stricted his long- range vi­sion.

“ It’s not too bad at train­ing be­cause you’re only work­ing in half a field or less,” he says.

“At a game I may not be able to see the ball but I can see what the play­ers are do­ing.”

The 58- year- old was hon­oured for his com­mit­ment with a life­time award at the Auck­land re­gion’s Wat­ties vol­un­teer coach of the year awards last month.

Mr An­der­son has spent 30 years coach­ing at Roskill Eden, in­clud­ing 16 years as ju­nior co­or­di­na­tor.

While he can no longer drive be­cause of his eye­sight, his wife Jan, a hockey um­pire, takes him wher­ever he needs to go.

Mr An­der­son started off as a player at the club and later went on to carry out roles such as men’s cap­tain and pres­i­dent.

But it’s his work as ju­nior coach­ing co­or­di­na­tor over the past 16 years that re­ally stands out.

“ Both our kids played and moved on and I just car­ried on do­ing it,” he says.

“ I sort out the teams and coaches and what­ever’s left over, I look af­ter.”

Mr An­der­son says he was “ sur­prised and hum­bled” to re­ceive the award.

Roskill Eden pres­i­dent Lloyd Bun­yan is thrilled Mr An­der­son picked up the prize.

“ It’s a huge ef­fort and we don’t see that as much as we would like,” he says. “ He’s just a fan­tas­tic guy.” Also recog­nised at the awards were Adam Gataulu from Sub­urbs Rugby who won stu­dent coach of the year and Carl Grib­ble from Metro Soft­ball who took out the gen­eral coach of the year sec­tion.

Na­tional awards are held in Novem­ber.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Ded­i­ca­tion:

Roskill Eden ju­nior co­or­di­na­tor John An­der­son was hum­bled re­cently when he won the Auck­land re­gion’s life­time coach­ing award at the Wat­ties vol­un­teer coach of the year.

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