Local hockey star recognised

LEADERSHIP qualities in a local hockey player have been recognised at the highest possible level.

Souths player David Black received a Youth Leadership Certificate from the International Hockey Federation, one of young 16 players in the country to be recognised for their all-round efforts in the sport.

“It was great when I found out I’d won one,” Black said.

The awards were given to players who have made an outstanding contribution to the game in the areas of coaching, refereeing and assisting with player development.

The Gladstone Hockey Association nominated Black for the certificate, which was delivered by Hockey Australia.

Only two certificates were handed out in Queensland.

Spending many hours at the hockey fields, Black blows the whistle in most divisions locally, umpiring men’s and women’s A-grade through to under-15s.

One of his ambitions is to oversee a match in the hardest league going around.

“I’d like to umpire in the Netherlands, that’s the best competition in the world,” he said.

Over the past three years, Black has been coaching juniors in the sport, and this year took up the job of coaching under-15s, taking a representative team away to the Sunshine Coast.

Once the umpiring and coaching is out of the way, it’s time to get on the field. His favourite position is playing full-back, but Black is happy to go wherever the team needs him.

Black thanked the club and the association for nominating him for the certificate.

Next year, Black is off to uniersity on the Gold Coast, but is yet to decide where he’ll be smacking the hockey ball around.

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