At its annual prizegiving, Dannevirke Sports Club made Craig Boyden and Bruce Donald Life Members on Saturday, October 10.
For Bruce, it was in recognition of his pioneering role and subsequent service to junior hockey in Dannevirke particularly in coaching the Dannevirke Intermediate team which played weekly on the turf in Palmerston North.
Secretary of the intermediate team Naomi Castles says: "Bruce was one of the original team who collaborated to start hockey in Dannevirke. It is because of his enthusiasm and drive we have a local competition. He has spent many years coaching, umpiring and training the Manawatu team and locally.
"Bruce is passionate about providing development opportunities for the kids with their hockey, which is why our older kids play up at the high school (benefiting from the larger turf) and why we take a team over representing Dannevirke in the Manawatu competition.
"Thank you Bruce for your passion and enthusiasm for the sport."
On Friday, October 16, the intermediate team and their parents met to wind up the season and to farewell coach Bruce Donald at Merrylees Hotel. At that prizegiving, Bruce thanked the players and parents for supporting the team which travelled weekly to Palmerston North on a Friday evening.
He said he was pleased with its progress, rapidly being elevated from Division Two, after two 10-0 wins, to Division One and finishing midway on the ladder after many more wins than losses.
Bruce was sorry the Year 8s did not get a chance to be in the cancelled Manawatu Rep side, saying he thought about eight could have made the squad.
After the prizegiving, club president Tony Kent presented Bruce with a "Nailed it" trophy fashioned after the one Bruce presented to the best player each week.
Tony thanked Bruce for all the years supporting hockey which have produced so many good players and launched many a promising career.
"The wider hockey community says thanks," he said and concluded "whoever gets your services in the future will be extremely lucky."
In reply Bruce thanked the Dannevirke Sports Club for its support and urged all the players present to treasure being part of a club because "you are always running into members in later life with whom you have a special bond".
He encouraged all players to train hard to succeed, just as his 2020 squad had done.