In just eight short years, O’Connor Catholic College student Erin Porter has achieved some remarkable on-field results in hockey. Playing first grade for the Breakaways Hockey Club, Erin is also a talented umpire; she has her sights firmly set on making Hockey NSW’s Athlete Acceleration
Program, and umpiring at Nationals.
Hi Erin. Tell us a little about yourself and your family’s background in the New England area.
I’m 16 years old and have lived in Armidale all of my life. My family runs a sheep and cattle property, 45 km west of Armidale on the Boorolong Road, and I’m a fourth-generation farmer.
I currently attend O’Connor Catholic College in Year 10. I’m also doing a school-based traineeship and working to obtain my Certificate 2 in Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservations and Land Management.
What sparked your interest in hockey, and how old were you when you first started playing?
I was only eight years old, and my mum thought it would be a great sport to get into and meet some new friends.
My first club was Ex-Services Hockey Club. Since then, I now play first grade for Breakaways Hockey Club.
When/how did your skill playing hockey lead into umpiring the game?
I took up umpiring for Hockey NE in U9s and U11s. My first competition was in Tamworth for the U11 Kim Small Shield. From there, I went
You’ve notched up some significant achievements in hockey (both playing and umpiring) over the last year or so. What have been some of the major matches/comps you’ve been involved with?
At the Hockey NSW U18 Boys in Lismore, I was awarded the Div 3 Grand Final and also was awarded the Development Umpire of the Tournament.
At the Hockey NSW Women’s Opens in Bathurst, I was awarded the Div 3 Grand Final Opens — I was the youngest umpire to receive a final.
What are some of the sporting achievements you’re most proud of?
Making the Northern Inland Academy of Sport (NIAS) in 2018 and 2019, being selected to umpire at U18 Boys and Open Women’s this year, and Coaching for Hockey NSW at the Under 12 Development Clinics for Greg Doolan; he is the Northern Inland Regional Coaching Coordinator.
What is it about hockey as a sport that you particularly love?
The friends you make over the years. You don’t have to play with them each weekend, but when you go to championships, and they are playing, it is nice to see them.
Looking to the future — what would you most like to achieve (sport and personally) over the next few years?
With playing; making Hockey NSW’s Athlete Acceleration Program (AAP) and umpiring at Nationals.
Personally; doing well in my HSC and going to university — studying something to do with agriculture.
When you’re not on the hockey field, what else keeps you busy?
When I’m not playing hockey, I play Rugby Union for O’Connor Catholic College on Friday nights in the girls’ competition, touch football in summer, and I also umpire touch.
If other locals are interested in hockey as a sport, what’s the best way for them to get involved?
Hockey New England
For more information, you can contact my mum, Fiona Porter: firstname.lastname@example.org as she is with the admin office for Hockey New England.
Interview: Jo Robinson.