Respected sporting role model inspires a future leader
RECOGNISED as a rising allrounder, Blake Douglas was delighted to share his honour with another Ipswich role model.
Douglas, who turns 21 in October, received the Barry Dancer Excellence Award at the annual Ipswich Hockey Gala dinner at Brothers Leagues Club on Friday night.
But apart from appreciating the honour, Douglas was thrilled to see Sara Rogers presented with the latest Amy Korner Excellence Award for her invaluable contribution.
Both are Ipswich-bred Hancock Brothers A-Grade players who have excelled this season on and off the hockey field.
Douglas was recently chosen in the Australian Country under-21 team contesting a tour to Borneo and Malaysia next year.
He is coached at club level by Rogers, who has been a wonderful servant of Ipswich hockey for many years.
"She has been a help massively,'' Douglas said. "Not only playing, also just helping out off the field.
"Off the field she is good. You can have a chat with her about anything.
"On the field, she will tell me what I'm doing right, what I'm doing wrong. When I'm doing something wrong, she'll tell me what I need to do to fix it.
"And even my fitness, leading up to the games and pre-season, there's always a lot of fitness for the season.''
Having previously won the Amy Korner Excellence Award, Rogers was humble as always.
Still playing top grade in the Ipswich and Brisbane competitions, Rogers was part of the Queensland Country team that won the recent national title in Shepparton.
But the long-serving Hancocks captain is already looking to the next stage of her hockey involvement.
She hopes to coach a Queensland side in the future, having been an assistant with the state under-18 team that secured the national title in Tasmania earlier this year.
"I'm a little bit older now so I've taken a keen interest in coaching and enjoying coaching, especially the rep stuff, '' Rogers said.
"I'm very much involved with the high performance area of Queensland.
"It's a completely different set of challenges.''
The personal trainer again represented South West Queensland in this year's Super League championships.
She is a former Australian Country captain who assisted representative teams while recovering from a knee reconstruction.
Her immediate coaching mission is helping Hancocks complete back-to-back grand final victories this weekend.
"We've had a very successful year so far with the men so hopefully we can finish off,'' she said.
Douglas has also been doing some coaching, working with the under-13 Ipswich team, D-Grade Hancocks boys, at junior development camps and in indoor hockey. He's also umpired indoor hockey.
"It's the amount of work that goes into hockey not only playing but also umpiring, coaching,'' the former Bremer State High School student said, appreciating his honour.
Having come through the junior Hancocks ranks, Douglas is preparing for his fourth senior grand final as a player on Saturday night, hoping to enjoy his third victory.
He gained more skills sharing in Queensland Country's recent second placing at the national championships.
"Going away with the Queensland Country team was a big thing for me,'' he said. "A lot of senior players helped me coming through.''
Rogers was thrilled to see the annual Ipswich Hockey Awards recognising Players of the Year in each division and a number of dedicated officials and umpires.
"It's good that they get recognised because they definitely deserve it,'' Rogers said.
"We have got a fairly easy job. We play. It's all the behind the scenes work that we don't see that helps Ipswich hockey.''
On Friday night, Lyn Brown won the Masters Award and Heather Scott received the Paul Mantell Volunteer of the Year for her ongoing service.
A new honour was added this year to remember another hockey stalwart. The Bill Chandler Memorial Award was presented to Easts as aggregate champion club this season (for total points divided by number of teams).
Wests won the women's club championships with 263 points, from Hancocks (155) and Swifts (139).
Easts were the men's club champions with 194 points, from Norths (158) and Wests (153).
Full junior grand final and senior preliminary final wrap-up in your QT and online this week.
Ipswich Hockey's 2019 awards winners.
Barry Dancer Excellence Award: Blake Douglas.
Amy Korner Excellence Award: Sara Rogers.
Masters Award: Lyn Brown.
Paul Mantell Volunteer of the Year: Heather Scott.
Bill Chandler Memorial Award: Easts.
Senior Players of the Year:
A Grade men - Kyle Sippel (Easts). A Grade women: Jessica Fox (Norths) .
Reserve Grade men: Kellan Morrow (Norths). Reserve Grade women: Nicole Yearbury (Thistles).
R2 men: Terry Wode (Norths). R2 women: Rachel FitzGerald (Vets).
A2 men: Jeffrey Pamenter (Wests). A2 women: Jayne Goetsch (Wests).
Basil Coker Award for umpiring achievement: Jessica Fox.
Herb Eleison Award for Services to Umpiring: Steven Rogers.