Swifts celebrate milestone year with collection of firsts
SIXTEEN premierships, including four in A-Grade, is a pretty impressive feat for any club just 15 years old.
Swifts Hockey Club players, coaches, officials and supporters have combined to achieve the fine record in the Ipswich competition.
That also includes nine grand final runners-up, nine minor premierships and seven mid-season winners.
However, as Swifts celebrate their milestone anniversary this year, the focus remains on growth and recognising the strong family networks and knowledgeable hockey people in the club.
That features focused sporting people like club co-founders Nathan Hooper, the inaugural coach, as well as Bronwyn Webb, Bonita Tyler and Susan Gregory.
President Joy Lewis took on a leadership role in the early years. She is honoured with a club person of the year trophy each season.
Families like the Petersens have also played vital roles in taking the club forward after the early founders laid the important groundwork.
Among them is current club secretary Terresa Petersen, who has compiled a wonderful scrapbook of mainly Queensland Times articles dating from 2006.
The well-presented collection showcases the club's achievements, recognising the terrific work done at Swifts.
Petersen said scanning through the history highlighted why Swifts were now such an important part of the Ipswich hockey competition.
"Very much so,'' she said.
"We believe because we are so family orientated and so integrated in our teams, there's that bond as well as long-term friendships that have been through the club for the last 15 years.''
The former A2 goalkeeper has been involved with Swifts since 2008.
Petersen noted the strong connections that have been formed, highlighted at a recent club fundraising day at the Ipswich races.
"It was an excellent day,'' she said. "It was very successful.
"It's good team bonding.''
Petersen has been club secretary for the past four years.
After Swifts' humble beginning launching one team, the club progressively added sides from 2007.
This season, Swifts have women's sides in A Grade, Reserve, R2 and A2, as well as a men's A2 combination.
Swifts also have junior E, D and C Grade girls sides and a Hookin2Hockey team.
"All our kids are in there right from Hookin2hockey all the way up to A Grade,'' she said. "So we've got family everywhere.''
Petersen was delighted to see all the A2 players from last year's first men's side return this season after making the grand final.
"This year we've been able to get a whole C-Grade team,'' she said. "These (under-15) girls have been playing together probably since Hookin2Hockey.
"With that, the hope for the future is we can expand even more.''
That includes developing more men's and boys teams.
After their recent get-together at the Ipswich Turf Club, Swifts officials are organising a fundraising BBQ breakfast on July 24.
It will also part of the club's 15th anniversary celebrations.
Petersen said Swifts would share in the Hookin2Hockey theme day for under-9s starting at 8.45am.
Swifts will have junior teams represented that day in E-Grade (10.10am), D Grade (11.30am) and C Grade (1pm).
The club's R2 (2.30pm), Reserve Grade (4pm), A2 women (5.30pm), A2 men (7pm) and A Grade women (7pm) are also playing in a massive Saturday for club supporters.
A summary of Swifts successes since 2006 (information collated by Teressa Petersen).
2006: Swifts Hockey Club co-founded by Nathan Hooper, Bronwyn Webb, Bonita Tyler and Susan Gregory. The club's first team formed - a women's A Grade side.
2007: The introduction of a Swifts Reserve Grade team. The A Grade women become stronger as mid-season premiers and minor premiers.
Joy Lewis became president with the "Joy Lewis Trophy'' later prepared to honour the club person of the year. The first trophy was awarded to Perdita Voight in 2007.
2008: The introduction of an R2 Grade team. The A, Reserve and R2 teams qualify for the grand final.
The Swifts A Grade side are minor premiers and grand final runners-up.
The R2 women, coached by former Australian player Tammy Cole, win the club's first premiership defeating Norths.
2009: The Swifts A Grade secures the minor premiership and mid-season trophy before finishing runners-up. The top side win their first Combined Competition title in the Ipswich-Toowoomba competition.
The club's R2 side finish runners-up.
2010: Swifts celebrate their second premiership success when the A-Grade women win the grand final.
The team is led to victory by coach Brendan Smith. The team maintains its winning record in 2010 and 2011. The A-Grade side also shares the Combined Ipswich/Toowoomba Cup in 2010.
The Swifts R2 team are mid-season winners, minor premiers and grand final runners-up.
2011: The successful club savours a double premiership with the A-Grade team joined by the Reserve Grade side as grand final champions.
The Swifts A Graders were also mid-season winners, minor premiers and premiers, again sharing the title in the Combined Competition.
The Reserve Grade women were mid-season winners and premiers after an emotionally intense extra-time win. With the match going down to drop offs with four players left on the field, Sheree Brown scores the winning goal for Swifts.
2012: The Swifts A Grade side were the only club team to make the final after being mid-season winners, minor premiers and runners up. They regained the Combined Competition title against Toowoomba.
2013: The Swifts A Grade side becomes grand final champions again, dominating the year by being mid-season winners, minor premiers and premiers. They again share the combined Ipswich/Toowoomba Cup.
The Swifts Reserve graders were minor premiers and defeated Norths to become premiers again. Cristle Petersen and current president Kirsty Lenaghan were co-coaches who watched the win in an exciting shootout. Kirsty scored the decider in sudden death shoot outs.
Swifts R2 women were mid-season winners, finishing as grand final runners up.
2014: All four Swifts teams - A, Reserve, R2 and A2 - make the grand final. The A, Reserve and R2 women savour a trio of premierships.
A-Grade captain Anne-Marie Callow leads the way alongside coach Mark Sharrad.
The Swifts R2 side were also minor premiers.
2015: Swifts experienced another rebuilding phase. The Reserve Grade side were mid-season winners, minor premiers and runners up. The R2 team were minor premiers.
2016: During the 10 year anniversary, a tenacious Swifts A Grade team faced Wests in a massive grand final battle played in horrendous wet weather conditions. The leadership skills of injured player Megan Bool were on show as Swifts were beaten after having to move to an adjacent turf field due to pools of water on the main Ipswich surface.
That year, the Swifts Reserve grade managed to secure the premiership in a game that saw a terrible injury and many tears of joy and pride for the club. Captain/coach Kirsty Lenaghan (Lenny) shared in Swifts' 3-2 win over Wests 3-2 with the winning goal scored in the last minutes.
2017: Swifts Reserve and R2 teams both won premierships. Swifts expanded with juniors from Hookin2Hockey and two junior grades (E and D). The Swifts hockey community is excited at this addition, encouraging little Bluebirds to develop the next generation.
Swifts introduced the Anne-Marie Callow Excellence award, presented to junior players excelling in the sport and ready to follow in her footsteps. Líle Lenaghan received the inaugural trophy, being Swifts' first junior player representing Queensland.
2018: All teams finished in the top four with the Reserve Graders being mid-season winners, minor premiers and grand final runners up. The D and E Grade sides both made finals, finishing runners up.
2019: Two A2 women's teams were introduced due to the numbers of interested players. Both teams enjoyed a great season in a friendly and supportive environment.
The R2 women took out the premiership also being mid-season winners and minor premiers.
2020: Even COVID didn't stop the Swifts Hockey Club's fighting spirit fielding six teams - in Reserve Grade, R2, A2 women, E and D Grade girls and a combined C Grade girls side.
In another milestone, Swifts introduced the club's first A2 men's side, who amazingly made the final, finishing runners-up.
Swifts became an incorporated club with four teams making finals.
The R2 women went down to their competition nemesis Vets and the A2 men lost a close game against Hancocks.
Swifts savoured a first junior premiership. The D-Grade girls, coached by Cristle Petersen, beat a mixed team - Northern Western Strikers.
The Swifts Reserve Grade women, coached by Cyle Meloury, took out the premiership in a tight and emotionally fuelled penalty shootout.