Top Ipswich coach taking a break to recharge
SAM Spry concedes it's an emotion-charged time as she prepares to end her highly successful stint as Ipswich Hockey regional coaching director.
Spry is finishing at the end of this month to take a break from coaching and playing representative masters hockey after giving valuable service for more than three years.
Her husband Adam and children Tyler and Ashley are also leaving Ipswich hockey.
"It's been a long three and a half years and it's been an exceptionally rewarding three and a half years,'' she said. "But it has taken me away from family for quite a lot of that time.
"I'm excited to have a break but overwhelmed in the fact that I'm so proud of the association and everything that the athletes have achieved.''
Under Spry's guidance, Ipswich Hockey has bolstered its junior numbers and provided more professional development programs.
However, Spry said she needed to share in precious family time. "We are all taking some time away to refresh and recharge,'' she said.
South Australian born Spry previously had an active 10 year career in the military.
Husband Adam was still working with the Australian Defence Force this year, often away on duty.
Despite his work demands, Adam was a dependable A-Grade coach this year working with the Easts men and Bellbowrie women. He also took on important representative coaching roles.
Sam and Adam's children Ashley and Tyler played in the Ipswich and Brisbane competitions.
"It's very much been a family effort,'' Sam said. "Without them, I don't necessarily believe I would have been able to achieve what I have.''
As a player, Spry won a silver medal representing the Australian over-40's side at this year's Masters World Cup in Barcelona.
She intends taking a 12-month break from competitive hockey while "recharging''.
Ipswich Hockey president Robert McLeod confirmed applications were being sought to replace Spry.
"She has done a fantastic job over the three and a half years,'' McLeod said, having tried to talk Spry into staying.
"She's one of our guiding forces in the improvement in hockey overall in Ipswich.''
Spry said she leaves Ipswich appreciative of the widespread support she received, especially from committee people like Margret and Paul Mantell, Tracey Doyle, Robert McLeod, Karen Dolan and Paul Malcolm.
She was also grateful for all the club work done behind the scenes.
"There are so many people in this association that have helped me out along the way and have been a wealth of knowledge and support,'' she said. "I've built a really good rapport with them.
"It's hard to not be emotional because I have become so emotionally attached to the association and the athletes.
"I have really really enjoyed my time here.''