Top coach held in high regard
Past and present hockey players from around Porirua gathered at the Elsdon turf recently to honour a much-loved coach.
Rangikura School hockey coach Ondine Soutar said she was humbled that many of her current and former students continued to support an annual tournament held in her honour.
‘‘It is a lovely end-of-season celebration for the kids. We have a really supportive hockey community,’’ she said.
‘‘ Hockey gives the kids so many opportunities and they are really good at it.’’
Several friendly matches were played between current Rangikura teams before the top players challenged a group of former students for the Ondine Soutar Shield.
Experience helped the former players beat the students 5-3.
Ms Soutar, a Rangikura teacher, organises the school hockey programme and coaches the Wellington under- 13A rep team.
Rangikura player Mamele Kupa said Ms Soutar put all her time and effort into her students, whom she treated like family.
One player’s mother, Amanda Parsons, said the tournament was recognised all Ms Soutar had done for her students.
‘‘Words can’t express everything she has done for the Rangikura kids,’’ she said.
‘‘She has high expectations of the kids and really pushes them when they need it.
‘‘It’s like a big family and she’s the driving force behind it.’’
The relaxed event was supported by local businesses Preston’s Master Butchers, Countdown and Pak ’nSave.