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The Modern Era

From 1980, many changes were made to the Club’s administration. Gone were the old “V” shapes on the playing shirts. These were initially replaced with collarless round and open neck playing uniforms in brighter emerald green with gold trim colours.

Towards the late eighties, these were replaced with jade green polo shirts with no gold trim. The only part of the playing uniform to remain relatively the same apart from the Club logo is the white shorts.

Annual fundraising activities were a feature with such ventures as flea markets and stalls in both Pukekohe and South Auckland being undertaken by both playing members and supporters.

1983 saw the first form of corporate sponsorship. C B Norwood Limited provided jackets to the Club’s senior team and in the following year outfitted the B team in similar jackets. They remain c major sponsor today.

To mark the modem era, the names of Corporate sponsors were displayed on the playing shirts this form of income replaced the house-to-house fundraising activities. All Club members wen provided the opportunity to purchase a dress jersey featuring the Club’s logo in 1981. This allowed members to show their support for the Club at games and at other functions as well as reinforcing the Club’s identity. Later, both players and members were also able to purchase a jacket in the Club colours embroidered with the Club’s logo.

In 1983 the Club was fortunate to have the chance to host the touring Indian hockey team at a lunch in Pukekohe at the Nehru Hall. The team was shown around Pukekohe before returning to Auckland for the rest of their tour.

The introduction of the junior team for inter-Club and social fixtures was also a major achievement during this period. In 1990 Bhana Khusal was made a life member of the Pukekohe Indian Sport Club for outstanding contributions to the Club.

One of the major fundraising projects of more recent times was for the Counties Hockey Turf. The Pukekohe Indian Sports Club, with the support of the local Indian community and the Club’s sponsors, raised the largest amount of money out of the affiliated hockey Clubs in Counties. The Club’s input to this cause was approximately $43,000, which highlighted the importance of such a facility for our hockey. This significant contribution put the Club in a very strong position in Counties Hockey. The commencement of an annual cricket tournament organised by NZISA saw the Pukekohe Indian Sports Club participate in this event. This has revitalised the interest in cricket to the extent that social matches have been played against neighboring Indian Sports Clubs.

As the annual NZISA tournament has grown, the approach to hosting and organising this major event has had to take on a more professional and businesslike approach such as the one held in 1995. However, the success of this tournament still remains dependent on the support and assistance of all Club members.

A number of coaches have assisted our teams over the last 50 years. One notable coach was (Australian based lan Ward who took the senior team in 1989. His input was definitely an advantage for the Club because he exposed the players to techniques required for turf-based hockey well in advance of our local Astroturf being completed. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s era, all of the teams performed well in the local Counties competition with many players being selected for representative teams. The senior men’s team enjoyed great success in the Counties championship winning the Franklin Hockey Association Challenge Shield (now known as the Counties Champion of Champions Shield) for five years from 1989 – 1993.

The strength of the young hockey players was fully realised in 1991 when a Club colts team (i.e. Under 21) was formed under the coaching of Dheru Makan. This team played against a Counties Colts team that year and had an impressive win, a feat that few Counties Clubs can boast of. This achievement highlighted the potential in our younger members, which needed to be developed and encouraged for the benefit of themselves and the Club. The guidance and support given by Dheru to these youngsters showed the way in which experience and knowledge could be passed on within the Club. A highlight for the Club’s B team came in 1993 when they won the B grade section at the NZISA tournament in Palmerston North. Breaking the stranglehold that both Auckland and Wellington Indians had on this. Trophy was a major achievement.

Three years after the initial Colts team was formed, NZISA organised a tournament for under 21 hockey players. This inaugural tournament was held at the Grammar Turf in Auckland. Our team, which was coached by Kanu Makan, performed admirably throughout the tournament to reach the final with Auckland. In a tense game, we were defeated after a nail biting penalty shootout. Once again, the strength of our up and coming players was clearly shown.

Over the last five decades, the Club has expanded from one hockey team to include three other men’s teams, a junior team, a ladies’ team, a Golden Oldies team and more recently, a netball team.

The Club has progressed well and like any organisation has had its share of problems to maintain a high profile.

Club members and supporters have avidly encouraged the younger generation to take part in the sport of their choice. This has seen many players represent the Club at Franklin, Counties and the New Zealand Indian Sports Association representative level.

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