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South Australian great-grandma celebrates 950th hockey game

A grandmother to ten and great-grandmother to three, this South Australian hockey player just played her 950th game, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.

South Australian great-grandma Yvonne Tobin just celebrated her 950th game with the Crystal Brook Hockey Club, but she insists the milestone was “just another day.”

“I wasn’t too fussed about it until everyone else started making a fuss about it,” Tobin says. 

The longtime Crystal Brook and hockey player played her first game of hockey in Crystal Brook in 1963, and save for two years playing elsewhere, Tobin has been a member of the local club ever since. She has won many grand finals with the team, played in even more, and she is also a coach, umpire, and committee member. Due to her efforts, Tobin was honoured with the title of “lifetime member,” given to club members who have proven dedication and passion over the years. However, the relationships she has built at the club far outweigh any awards.

“The club is a fantastic, family-oriented club, and we all look out for each other like a family,” she says.

Tobin, a grandmother to ten and great-grandmother to three, has a large family of her own, but her maternal nature on the team is what scored her the nickname of “Granny” among her teammates. 

“I have been like a granny to a lot of the players, especially when they were young,” the near-70-year-old says. 

Fellow club member and coach Ali Guilin agrees.

“Yvonne brings so much to our club; She is a mentor to all of us, no matter what age we are,” Guilin says. 

“Yvonne definitely inspires us all to keep playing and being the very best version of ourselves no matter what we are doing in life.”

“Granny” played goalie in her 950th game last week, a feat celebrated with cake, balloons, and a banner from her teammates. However, Tobin’s passion for the game indicates that this significant milestone is not nearly her last. 

“Hockey is the best game in the world: There’s so much freedom of movement on the field, and it’s great fun,” she says. 

“I won’t stop playing until my body tells me I can’t play anymore.”

Find the Port pirie & Districts Association, the group behind The Crystal Brook Hockey Club, online here. 

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