The ladies section of Welwyn Garden City Hockey Club would struggle to function without Sue Owen, in fact, Sue is the club. Sue has been a member of the club since she was 13 and is still here over 40 years later. During her time at the club she has coached a Sunday morning youth team (on grass!), played various positions on pitch and in goal and currently also manages the Five Counties Ladies League.
Sue selflessly dedicates hours and hours week in week out, liaising with captains for team selection and notifications, logistics, coaching and is an ever willing umpire and I would describe her as the glue that keeps it all together.
It is difficult to pinpoint one single example to demonstrate why Sue is so wonderful and if I stated them all, you would be reading this all day but to choose one, I will give is the dedication she showed this weekend. This Saturday, Sue was present at every single ladies game all of which took place in different locations. She also offered to play for the Ladies 2s due to them only having 11 players despite carrying a long suffering injury. This shows just how much Sue will always put the club above herself.
Not only does Sue hold the club together on a Saturday but alongside her daughter Lizzie, she has also stepped in to coach the Ladies 1st team after they were without a coach after the end of last season. Using her expertise both as a player and a coach has ensured that the team have had a successful start to the season, winning their first two games.
Welwyn is lucky to have Sue as part of the club and I know I am not alone in saying that Sue is an inspiration to both young and more experienced players and is a joy to play with and for. To quote Anna Geaves, who was invited by Sue to attend training at 15, without the effort of Sue organising kit, matches and getting young players to games, many youngsters would not have had the opportunity to get involved in hockey and missed out on the sport altogether.
In addition to the inspiration Sue provides to the club, she has also inspired her two daughters Lucy and Lizzie Owen to take up the sport and Lizzie mentions that their childhood was spent at the side of the hockey pitch which was amazing. Lizzie has been part of the club as a youngster, has held the role of Ladies Club Captain and despite carrying her own injury is now working with Sue to coach the Ladies 1st team and inspired by Lizzie and Sue, Lucy has returned to hockey after several years away from the game. A recent game I played with Lucy and Sue saw a goal from Sue assisted by Lucy with Lizzie giving tips to Lucy from the side-line – a true example of a great mother and daughter (s) story within hockey.