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