Having notched up 300 games in Tigers colours a few weeks ago, Stacey Champion-Williams reflects on a hockey career that started not all that long ago.
Growing up with sister Georgina Jackson, Stacey had always played netball, while Georgina preferred hockey.
“I always said I’d never play it,” Stacey laughs.
“Now I’ve played it more than 300 times.”
Stacey first picked up a stick when she was 32, after spending time at the hockey watching her boys play on Saturdays. When her two nieces made their Division Three debut, their side was short of players.
From there, the games stacked up quickly, often playing on field in Div Three before a stint in goals for Div Two.
Being part of the side that ended a severe premiership drought at the Tigers is among career highlights for the experienced midfielder.
The Tigers lifted the Div Three cup in 2016 for the first time since the sport was played on grass. They didn’t have to wait long to taste glory again, winning the title in both 2017 and ’18.
“I think we’ll struggle to win it this year,” she laughs.
At the start of the season, Circular Head Hockey Association merged into one large grade, which now sports two different Tigers sides.
“It’s always very competitive when we play Tigers Orange,” Stacey says.
“They’re the stronger side, it’s always so much sweeter when we score against them.”
Stacey wants to use her story to inspire others her age to take up new sports, even later in life.
“You’re never too old, that’s not a good excuse.”
Inspired to give it a go? Contact Melissa Dodd on 0417 106 944 or check out the Circular Head Hockey Association on Facebook.
Guard of honour: Stacey Champion-Williams is commemorated by Tigers Black teammates (right) and Mustangs players for notching up 300 games for the club. Photo courtesy of Jodi Smith.