2020 Team Of The Year - Part 1

Team Of The Year

We asked you to send in nominations for those who have gone above and beyond both inside and outside of hockey in the last year and you didn't disappoint. So much so that we've had to put together two XIs - the second will follow next week.

From volunteering with the elderly on Christmas Day to completing gruelling challenges and ensuring clubs could return to the pitch safely, here are just some of the spirited individuals who made a difference in 2020.

2020 TOTY Part 1

Name: Sarah Skelton
Club: Garstang HC
Nomination: Described as an ‘all round good egg’ Sarah worked exceptionally hard in 2020 keeping the entire Garstang community updated, connected and safe. As well as being a 1st XI goalkeeper, she also holds several roles within the club including Media & PR Officer, Fixtures Co-ordinator, Covid Officer and School Liaison Officer. She did all this while also holding down a full time job – her nominator said: “I have no ideo how she does it but we're certainly all super grateful for her!”

Name: Tom Hudson
Club: Amersham & Chalfont HC
Nomination: Determined to make the best of a tough situation, Tom completed five gruelling challenges in as many days to raise money for five charities close to his heart. He climbed the equivalent height of Ben Nevis on his stairs, rowed the length of The Channel on a rowing machine, ran a marathon on a hockey pitch, cycled 100 miles and completed 1,000 press-ups, sit-ups and squads. What’s more he completed all of this despite having talipes in both feet. As a result, he raised nearly £6,000 for his chosen charities. A true inspiration. 

Name: Izzy Adamson
Club: Wanderers HC
Nomination: A goalkeeper for Wanderers HC and a volunteer with London Wayfarer’s ‘Flyerz’ programme, Izzy is also an occupational therapist. On Christmas Day she chose to volunteer with elderly people in the hospital to help them connect online and celebrate their day with loved ones virtually. An amazing act of selflessness.

Name: Rob Oakley
Club: Bedford HC
Nomination: President of the club, Rob has been instrumental in keeping hockey going wherever possible in the last year. He’s been part of the Covid team ensuring everything is in place to comply with the guidance; he’s often the one opening and closing the facilities each day and can also be found on the pitch when he gets a chance too. As retired hospital consultant, he’s also done a lot of work raising money for the Bedford Hospital Charity and other community groups. As described by his nominator, Rob is an ‘all round top guy’.

Name: Jenny Seale
Club: Blackheath & Elthamians HC
Nomination: There is seemingly nothing Jenny doesn’t do to help out others at Blackheath & Elthamians HC. She’s the women’s club captain and oversees the management of fives teams, is the club’s Covid Officer, has taken on the role of club rep on the Kent Committee, umpires for both the men and women and helps out with the training for the 3rd, 4th and 5th XI and organises virtual team socials for the 2nd XI. She is ‘at the heart of the club through and through’.

Name: Fred Morris
Club: Spalding HC
Nomination: Known as ‘Super Fred’, his nominator wanted to thank Fred for his consistent hard work at the club and continuing to develop junior and walking hockey. ‘We would be lost without him,’ they said.

Name: Kate Porter
Club: Marlow HC
Nomination: Alongside heading up the junior section and dedicating many hours of her time to coaching, Kate also took the lead when it came to ensuring Marlow HC could return to the pitch when it was safe to do so. Her nominator said: ‘Without people like Kate our club would simply not be able to function.’

Name: Mark Sanderson
Club: Cambridge City HC
Nomination: Mark went above and beyond in 2020 when hockey could return to ensure that his club and three others who use the same pitches could all return to training in a Covid compliant fashion. He met with ground staff regularly and set up all the admin for the other clubs to manage pitch time to ensure everyone got their fair share. He is also the Fixture Secretary, ensuring more than a thousand people can play each weekend, plays in goal for whoever needs him, helps film the 1st XI’s games and can always be relied upon for wisdom or a shoulder to cry on.

Name: Hazel Mycock
Club: Leek HC
Nomination: Hazel has certainly kept her club’s spirit going over the last few months with her creative and innovative virtual initiatives ensuring everyone has something to look forward to. Her nominator said: ‘She deserves recognition and a medal for all her endeavours especially during the madness of 2020.’

Name: Lily Rowntree
Club: City Of York HC
Nomination: Lily is another example of an individual who has pulled out all the stops for her club to ensure everyone can train and play safely when it is possible to do so. She’s done wonders to ensure 17 adult teams can access the pitches and has kept everyone up to date with all the latest rules.

Name: Jane Bell
Club: Yeovil & Sherbourne HC
Nomination: The women’s club captain, Jane also took on the responsibility of being a Covid Officer for the club this year and did some brilliant work to ensure players could return to the pitch. She attended all training sessions on Tuesdays to make sure they ran smoothly and that everyone had completed the track and trace protocol, umpired two games each Saturday, coached and played whenever she could too. Her nominator said: ‘The club is grateful for all her input into supporting us over the past few years.’