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The History of Hockey in the Northern Territory


The Beginning 

Hockey was first played in the Northern Territory in Darwin in 1940 with teams from the services competing for the Abbott Shield.

Hockey being played during World War 2 by service men on the Darwin Esplanade 

The competition had 6 clubs with several having multiple teams. The first Darwin Hockey Grand Final was played between Mobile A and Mobile B and finished a 1-1 draw. The replay was held the following Tuesday with Mobile A defeating Mobile B 1-0 to claim the first Abbott Shield.

Senior Men Team Photos

Senior Women Team Photos

U21 Men Team Photos

U21 Women Team Photos

U18 Men Team Photos

U18 Women Team Photos

U15 Boys Team Photos

U15 Girls Team Photos

U13 Boys Team Photos

U13 Girls Team Photos

Masters Men Team Photos

Masters Women Team Photos

View Missing Team Photos

The Northern Territory Hockey Association was formed in Darwin during 1948 and commenced it’s competition during the wet season of 1949/50.

Hockey continued to grow through the 1950’s and 60’s and more clubs joined the competition during this period.

In 1981 a major step was taken to form the Darwin Hockey Association and this allowed the Northern Territory Hockey Association to become the state body, controlling hockey in Gove, Darwin and Alice Springs.

Photo courtesy of John Baylis

Hockey after Cyclone Tracey 1975



History of Hockey in Alice Springs 

Hockey has been played in Alice Springs since the 1950's and women were the first to take up the challenge of a sport that Australia has dominated in the world arena. The game progressed with the change of playing fields, a sand based turf came in 1988 then followed by a water based turf in 2002. The rules have changed to match the increasing pace of the physical aspect of the game. No longer is there an off side rule, the ball does not need to be stopped completely when taking a free hit and umpires are taught to play advantage. The aim is to keep the game flowing and make it interesting for spectators to watch. Hockey has enjoyed a high profile in the Olympics in particular with the success of the Women's Hockeyroos. We are very proud to have had four players play for Australia - Paige Walling, Phenya Clarke, Angela Schilling and more recently Donna- Lee Patrick.


Alice Springs Hall of Fame

Alice Springs Hockey Association's National Champion Representative Players

Australian Representatives

Phyenea Clarke

Paige Walling

Angela Schilling


Donna Lee Patrick - Player with the Hockeyroos 2001-2007

Career Tournaments Played

Invitational representing Alice Springs U13's in Mt Isa in 1994
Various NT/SA State Teams U16, U18, U21 and Australian Hockey League

Junior World Cup in 2001

Korean Telecom Cup 2001
(first game for Australia)

Olympic Qualifiers in New Zealand 2007

Numerous test in New Zealand

Champions Trophy in Argentina 2007

World Cup in Spain 2006


Under 15 men's national champions

Dash Hewett

Cameron Finlay

Miebaka Dede

Daniel Versteegh


Primary school boy's national champions

Stephen Versteegh (captain)

Casy Hiscox

Noel Murtagh


Bill Van Dyke was a great ambassador for Hockey all over the world and lately in Alice Springs.

He commenced his hockey career in 1953 as a player for "Lipward" in the Netherlands while he was completing Physical Education studies. In 1961 Bill moved to New Zealand and was appointed as the manager coach of the U21 colts. Bill also obtained his NZ Umpire status during this time. In 1964 he umpired at National Championships, he also looked after 3 x NZ teams and travelled widely with them.

In 1969 he moved to Victoria Australia where he was given his Victorian umpires badge as well as remaining involved in the coaching side of things.

In 1974 Bill moved to Alice Springs where he coached Men's and Women's teams, umpired, arranged school exchange hockey competitions while holding various positions on the ASHA Executive Committee.

From1984 to 1990 Bill was transferred to Tennant Creek Primary School and a Hockey sabbatical was forced upon him. Except in 1989 when he was in Gove for 1 year where he immediately got involved in Hockey. On his return to Alice Springs in 1994 Rotary snaffled him but he remained patron of ASHA.

In 2002 the 50th Anniversary of Alice Springs Hockey, Bill became heavily involved in hockey again especially in administration side, which he has been working on ever since. In the last 8 years Bill has organised 4 Alice Springs Masters Games Tournaments. Has been Senior Vice President of NTHA and President of ASHA. He also took a U21 side to National Championships. Bill was the Hockey representative on the sports facility advisory committee of the Alice Springs Town Council (ASTC) for the last 10 years (2010).

Bill has received many awards and recognition for his commitment and dedication to Hockey in the Northern Territory. Including:
1994 - ASHA Life Member
2001 - Commonwealth recognition awards for senior Australians
2007 - Volunteer of the Year
2010 - Named as one of the 40 Desert Sports significant sports personalities
2010 - Certificate of Appreciation from the ASTC, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Hockey and the Alice Springs Sporting Community. Which was presented by Mayor Damien Ryan during ASMG.