Keri Dempster was a founding member of the combined club Albany Birkenhead Collegians in 1992 having played for Birkenhead Ladies since arriving from Hawkes Bay in 1986 to join her aunt, Edie Weber who at that time was the Premier Coach.
With the exception of a one year stint at the University Club in Auckland (1990) and a year or two off to have children, Keri’s involvement with the club spans all ensuing years; initially, as a Premier player for over 20 years, this swiftly evolved into administration and coaching within the club and the Association. This included multiple periods as a club chair, coaching at many grades including being the Premier Coach finally retiring from this role in 2017.
Keri represented North Harbour for over 20 years, New Zealand at both U21s (2 Years) and Masters Grades (10 years). She received the NZ Hockey Gold Service award in 2019
Keri’s connection with Hawkes Bay and the Central area has seen a rich talent pool come through the club as players – at times the “C” in ABC could have stood for Central, however a key part of the club has always been player development. ABC’s winning record at youth grade started in 2005 and has seen many talented players come thought the programme and ensured a home-grown talent pool that is still in place today.
One of the key values of the club has been to create an environment in teams where not only are good hockey players are grown, but also good people are grown. Respect and fairness in a competitive environment and the sense of belonging to something we are good at, and it generates fun. The ABC “Sisterhood” is strong.
Keri is proud to be a life member – as recognition that giving back can be more fulfilling than the taking.