Edward and Phoebe York are both talented hockey players like their father, former Tamworth star and four time Olympian Michael York, but their progress will always be centred around having fun above anything else.
The pair are representing ACT at the 2017 Pacific School Games in Adelaide, which run from December 3–9, as they continue to develop their skills while playing for their school and receiving some guidance from dad.
York senior played 281 times for his country and was captain of the Kookaburras at the Sydney 2000 Olympics where the team won a bronze medal, adding to his silver and bronze medals won in Barcelona and Atlanta.
“Even though I had stopped playing hockey by the time my kids were born, they were introduced to hockey through junior clinics and competitions I supported,” York said.
“I guess they liked what they saw. I hope playing hockey will always be more about having fun than anything else, but I can see they are both keen to do well and are working hard to get better.
“Often having fun can lead to getting better and getting better can be fun.”
York, a former star defender, was in 2015 inducted into the Hockey Australia Hall of Fame for his playing career that also included a Commonwealth Games gold medal in 1998.
“I think they (Edward and Phoebe) can appreciate my achievements, they have seen my Olympic medals,” York explained.
“Although there is not much footage of me available on YouTube for them to watch me in action – my playing days were pre-digital. They are very interested in the Australian teams in general and keep track of current competitions the teams are involved in.”
Both attend Daramalan College in Canberra and play hockey for their school with Edward just starting to also play senior hockey for the Wests Hockey Club.
“Both kids have begun their hockey career as defenders, however, my son has now moved to playing as a forward,” York said.
“I have taken on coaching teams that my kids are involved in and I also talk to them about things I see from the sideline as a parent spectator.
“I differ from both of them, as I did not make a state team until I was a 16-year-old, but I see many similarities in where they are as players now and myself at that age especially wanting to always be hitting a ball around.”
Edward and Phoebe have both played at the York Cup and Kim Small Shield tournament held annually in Tamworth.