School crick­eters hon­our their coach

Bush Telegraph - - Trades And Services Directory - By DAVE MUR­DOCH

Dan­nevirke High School crick­eters from the last decade met at the school assem­bly hall on Satur­day evening April 7 to hon­our their coach Bruce Hooper-Smith.

It was a sur­prise for Bruce, as the of­fi­cial rea­son for the din­ner be­ing the sea­son wind-up for the school’s 1st XI.

More than 50 past and present play­ers and sup­port­ers en­joyed a meal put on by Joy Raf­faelli and San­jay Pa­tel, the orig­i­nal cap­tain of the team, said he had in­vited Bruce to come and coach in 2008.

He said the 1st XI had had a lean time and Bruce’s rep­u­ta­tion as a nonon­sense crick­eter and coach en­cour­aged San­jay to in­vite him to coach.

At the first prac­tice Bruce an­nounced “If you don’t waste my time I won’t waste yours”.

No-one’s time was wasted as Bruce put the team through rig­or­ous skills and fitness train­ing.

Within two sea­sons the team won the Manawatu com­pe­ti­tion and suc­cess con­tin­ued to fol­low.

San­jay said Bruce had been the most in­flu­en­tial per­son in his crick­et­ing ca­reer, teach­ing the skills of the sport along with other life skills such as re­spect, de­ter­mi­na­tion and re­li­a­bil­ity.

Four other play­ers from his teams, in­clud­ing Josh Thompson, Eu­gene Pitt, Craig Pay­ton and cur­rent cap­tain Aaron Herbert, spoke at the event.

Dan­nevirke High School Prin­ci­pal Di Carter thanked Bruce for his ded­i­ca­tion and pas­sion over his 10 years of coach­ing and pre­sented him with a tro­phy.

Then the group pre­sented Bruce with a carved tro­phy made from a sin­gle log and carved by Tony Man­sill with his chain­saw.

It fea­tured cricket stumps, bat and ball with a cap on the stumps, high­light­ing Bruce’s role as the wicket keeper as well as the coach.

Bruce replied that he had loved ev­ery mo­ment of the 10 years so far and hav­ing so many of his past play­ers present was a real thrill.

“It has been a won­der­ful jour­ney,” he said. “Th­ese play­ers have be­come my mates.”

He thanked the school for the op­por­tu­nity to coach and the fa­cil­i­ties to train in, also iden­ti­fy­ing as sig­nif­i­cant Frank Groube for sup­port­ing with coach­ing and scor­ing, Gor­don Kuggeleijn for man­ag­ing and play­ing for the team as well as coach­ing play­ers from pri­mary level, the par­ents who have sup­ported their teenagers and most of all his play­ers who had been in­stru­men­tal in so many suc­cesses.

The plaque on the tro­phy reads: “To Bruce Hooper-Smith in sin­cere ap­pre­ci­a­tion for your ded­i­ca­tion to coach­ing the DHS First Eleven”.

MANAWATU COM­PE­TI­TION

Bush away to Feild­ing at John­ston 1 - 1pm Dan­nevirke v Kia Toa at Dan­nevirke Rugby Park - 1pm

Bush away to Te Kawau at Ron­gatea 2 - 2.45pm

WAIRARAPA COM­PE­TI­TION

Ac­knowl­edge­ments

FER­GUS, Raewyn.

GLASSEY, Joan.

Bruce Hooper-Smith with his tro­phy and past/present Dan­nevirke High School 1st XI play­ers.

Bruce rem­i­nisces about cricket events in the last decade.

Past cap­tain Josh Thompson speaks about Bruce as a coach.

A close-up of the tro­phy made by Tony Man­sill.

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