For creating a great environment for players new to the club.
Karen Croft was well deserved winner of the ABC club coaching award. Karen is an experienced coach who has helped develop many players through the Division 1 and Division 2 ranks in recent years. With Hannah and Madi taking the coaching reins for Division 1 in 2020 this allowed Karen to focus on playing for Division 1, where she had an outstanding season in the heart of defense, and coaching the newly formed Division 3 team.
The Division 3 team was a bit of a gamble as it comprised players who were almost all new to the club and some were new to hockey. This team needed a coach with a calm presence who could impart knowledge and nurture players. On the field the team did well winning the Division 3 Bowl and several of the players filled in for Division 2 in 2020. Karen was pleased to see a number progress to Division 2 full time in and one to Division 1 in 2021.
Off-the-field the team was happy and virtually all the players returned in 2021 except one who had moved north. In fact, the team proved so successful that a second Division 3 team was established in 2021.
Karen brings a great blend of calmness, authority and enjoyment to her coaching. Her dedication over many years has been key in growing the club. She maintains core values of fair play and respect in a fun and supportive environment. James Coughlan, Director of Coaching
Karen is a club legend with almost 30 years' tenure. She has served as Secretary for at least ten years; this is a massive investment of time to ensure that the club runs smoothly. The Club (and Karen's workload) has more than doubled during that time. She was winner of the Weber Cup for most valuable club member in 2012 and was President's Cup winner in 2015. Karen has also represented North Harbour at Masters level.
The next generation of Crofts are making an impact on the hockey turf. Henry played for ABC Youth for four years and is now focused on umpiring where he shows the Croft qualities of remaining calm under pressure and being good humoured at all times. Daughter Zoe has been around the turf for a while running the subs for various team and won top supporter award for ensuring that even her panda was wearing ABC kit. Zoe has started adult hockey in 2021 and will be reunited with Karen on the turf next week as Karen returns from a shoulder operation.