Reward for excellence: Ipswich mum’s Qld Hall of Fame honour
NEW mum Amy Kickbusch (nee Korner) sets a standard of excellence every time she runs on to a hockey field.
That's why Ipswich Hockey's top annual female award is fittingly named in her honour. She was also chosen in Hockey Queensland's Team of the Decade from 2005-15.
Now the humble Ipswich born and bred achiever has been recognised with another elite accolade - induction into Hockey Queensland (HQ)'s Hall of Fame.
"It's pretty exciting,'' Kickbusch said, currently on maternity leave.
"I guess it's something I'm really proud of and I haven't really thought about hockey that much for a little while now.
"To have a little memory and a little flashback and something like that come up, it's really nice.''
Growing up in Flinders View, Kickbusch could only dream of what she could achieve playing hockey from Ipswich to international level.
She now sees similarities between being a mum and representing her state and country.
"Hard work is definitely the case,'' she said. "But it's well worth it.
"You work hard and you get to see some really cool things.''
Amy and husband Matt are proud parents of Annie, who is five months old next week.
"I love it,'' Amy said of being a mum.
"She's a pretty good girl and both Matt and I are really enjoying it.
"It's a whole new world.
"It's big changes and it's not about you any more. You have a very important little person to look after.''
The Centrals State School teacher sacrificed so much serving the Queensland Scorchers from 2002-11 and Australia from 2005-07 and 2009-11.
Her 51 international caps are testament to the striker's skill and commitment.
She completed a four-year teaching degree in five years while often travelling with state and national teams around Australia and overseas.
"I was doing assignments in different countries and trying to chase down Wi-Fi,'' she said.
"It was tough studying and training and working and trying to fit it all in.''
She also dealt with some troublesome injuries along the way but remained focused on doing the best for her teams.
Now aged 34, Amy appreciated the unexpected HQ Hall of Fame honour.
Aged 15, Amy was one of the youngest players ever selected into the Queensland Scorchers senior side, having leapfrogged under-18 and under-21 teams.
She rates that among her highlights, especially because she got to join one of her childhood hockey heroes, international star Nikki Hudson.
"She was definitely a favourite and playing alongside her was amazing,'' Amy said.
In her debut season, she played regular Women's Australian Hockey League (WAHL) matches with other elite players like Angie Skirving and another Ipswich talent Tammy Cole.
"Playing with that calibre of people when I was so young was very special and they were really encouraging and I learnt a lot from those girls,'' Amy said.
"They just came from that era of toughness and greatness, so to begin and be a part of that mix was phenomenal.''
In 2005, Amy shared in Queensland's jubilant WAHL grand final success, ending a series of runner-up efforts.
She represented Queensland in national league competitions for a decade.
Other memorable moments include captaining the Queensland under-21 side to victory at the 2007 nationals.
While she never got to represent Australia at a Commonwealth Games or Olympics, she served her country at two Champions Trophy tournaments and a World Cup.
She scored her first international goal for the Hockeyroos against Japan in Argentina at the 2007 Champions Trophy tournament.
The former Bremer State High School student also represented club and Ipswich representative sides with pride.
She has been fiercely loyal to her Ipswich club Wests over many years.
On maternity leave until next year, she left the door open to returning to Wests in the future.
She was co-captain last year before sitting out his season due to her motherly commitments.
"I really do miss it,'' she said.
"I would really like to come back as I enjoy it so much.''
Amy and Matt were married in 2014. Matt has been a fantastic supporter of Amy, especially when she was regularly overseas or away from home.
"He watched the World Cup from the pub and club in Caloundra,'' she said.
Amy is one of seven Queenslanders inducted into HQ's Hall of Fame for 2020. The induction coincides with today's 25th anniversary of Hockey Queensland.
Amy was delighted to be in such elite company, having played with other 2020 inductees like Hope Brown and Emma Stewart (nee Meyer).
Kelly Free (nee Thomas) was one of Amy's coaches at schoolgirl level.
As for her latest honour, Amy accepted it with her usual humble manner - the same as when Ipswich Hockey officials named the city's top female award after her.
The Amy Korner Excellence Award is presented in tandem with the Barry Dancer Excellence Award.
"I was a little bit shocked with that one considering the men's one is Barry Dancer . . . and he was on a totally different level to me,'' Amy said.
"But being an Ipswich person and continuing to play there is really nice to have something like that in my honour. I'm really proud of that.''
Those qualities prove why she belongs in the Hockey Queensland Hall of Fame.
Major achievements of Amy Kickbusch (nee Korner)
Queensland Scorchers: 2002-11
State under 21: 2003-04, 2006-07
State under 18: 2002-03
Australian Hockeyroos 2005-07 and 2009-11 (51 international caps)
World Cup 2010
Junior World Cup 2005
Champions trophy 2005 and 2007
Selected in Hockey Queensland Team of the Decade (2005-15)