Multiple generations play for Gloucester Hockey Club

Family affair on the men's team: The Tonk's, the Howard's, the Moore's, the Beggs' and the Germon's. Photo: Dave Keen.
Family affair on the men's team: The Tonk's, the Howard's, the Moore's, the Beggs' and the Germon's. Photo: Dave Keen.

They say that sport brings people together, and in the case of Gloucester Hockey Club, it seems to be bringing families together.

Not every sport is designed to have players across a broad age spectrum playing in the same division, but when it comes to field hockey, it lends itself to multi-generational players.

At the moment, Gloucester has seven families taking part in the Manning competition with many playing on the same team. And it's a pretty special thing for these parents to be playing alongside their children, according to team manager, Dave Keen.

"I think for some it's been about the parents getting back into the sport. Not to live vicariously but to be a role model and show that they can play too," Dave said.

Since the Gloucester club returned to the Manning competition in 2016 after a 27 year hiatus, there has been a slow build toward this point.

Families like Vic Tonks and his boys Dale and Brendon, and Brett Howard and his boys Lachlan and Callum have been playing in the men's division since the return. But younger family members, like Josh Howard, have only be able to play up in recent years once of age.

"As the years have progressed, the children are now becoming old enough to play in the same division as their parents," Dave explained. "It's good to watch parents pass on their skills but also for parents to be actively involved in their children's success. Most of them have played beyond the club on regional and state rep sides."

Gloucester families playing in the Manning competition are: Andrew Germon and his son Dean, Phil Moore and his sons Harrison and Jackson, Warren Beggs and his son Ryan and daughter Kaitlyn, James Hooke and his son Thomas, and Jane Fry and her daughters, Darcey and Amy.

"Phil (Moore) often says how great it is to play sport with his boys," Dave said.

Hockey seems to have more longevity and it's not uncommon to have several generations in the same division with players in their 70s alongside 14-year-olds.

"Even though it's a physical sport, it doesn't have the full contact aspect that tends to ware more on players as they age," Dave said.