Life membership for Derek

LIFE MEMBER: Derek James has been recognized for his dedication and service to hockey in Naracoorte with life membership tyo the Naracoorte and District Hockey Association.
LIFE MEMBER: Derek James has been recognized for his dedication and service to hockey in Naracoorte with life membership tyo the Naracoorte and District Hockey Association.

Dedicated hockey player and Naracoorte and District Hockey Association member Derek James has been recognized for his service to hockey.

H was awarded life membership at the association's AGM on Tuesday night for his long term commitment to the association and the sport in general.

He first picked up a hockey stick in 1984 at the age of nine, playing in the c grade competition.

He was a Greenbottles player from 1985 to 1989, playing the C grade, under 15s and the senior men's team, and winning many best and fairest titles in that time.

He represented Naracoorte in Upper South East Sapsasa and made it into numerous state teams.

He played for the Burnside Hockey Club, eventually moving to Adelaide and playing in the Adelaide premier league.

He returned to Naracoorte in 1995, in time to help the Greenbottles men to secure the grand final win.

Mr James took some time away until 2012, when he returned to the NDHA, playing in multiple grand finals for Greenbottles, and winning best and fairest on several occasions.

He was also leading goal scorer in several seasons as well.

He has dedicated his time to playing, coaching and umpiring and is also board member for Hockey SA, the peak body for hockey in South Australia.

He served as president of the association from 2014 to 2019 and oversaw the installation of the turf pitch, which was a momentous achievement for the association.

Mr James said hockey had been a big part of his life, and thanked everyone who had assisted and supported him over the years.

"Obviously hockey has been a big part of my life, so I am very honoured," he said.

"Every step of the way there has been help, whether it was somebody who was coaching me, someone who trained with me or someone who drove me and as I've gotten older and I've coached, there always been people there to help me, so whoever has helped me, I thank them, I couldn't have done it without your support.

"I continue to love hockey and at the level I am working at now, I will continue to improve hockey across the state," he said.

"At the end of the day I love just being at hockey in Naracoorte and having a hit.

"I still love it as much as the day I started."