Southern United Hockey Club
In 2014, Selwyn Hockey Club and Sydenham Hockey Club members gave permission for both clubs to enter into discussions to amalgamate. A joint working part consisting of three representatives from each club and an independent facilitator was formed to progress these discussions. After a number of meetings and consultation with the members of both clubs, we are proud to announce that the amalgamation was finalised in a series of Special General Meetings at the end of 2014.
The new club will have its headquarters at the Sydenham Park Pavilion and turf complex. All current memberships – including both clubs existing life members, will come across to the new entity.
Southern United Hockey Club will be fielding a number of teams in all CHA competitions. The new club has elected to adopt the playing strips of light blue tops and dark blue shorts/skirts and socks.
Thank you for all the support and positive comments during this exciting process.
A Bible class at the Selwyn Street Methodist Church and a group of young men with enthusiasm to spare.
These were the catalysts that spawned the Selwyn Hockey Club in March 1910, at its inception on the 18th March 1910 it was officially named as the “Selwyn Street South Bible Class Hockey Club”.
In the Club’s first year it fielded one team in the Third Grade competition, which finished third that year. The following year two club teams were entered into the competition, one in Third Grade and the other in Fourth Grade, both teams won their respective competitions.
The Club colours adopted then were chocolate which instigated the supporters on the sideline giving words of encouragement such as “Come on Choc’s” and “Keep it up Choc’s”. This colour has remained a dominant club colour, until it changed to jade, navy and white in 1994. Although these changes were not made lightly, due the increasing unavailability of the colour of the materials and the need to have more vibrant colours, the changes were made.
Under the Sydenham Supply Stores verandah one wet Thursday afternoon in 1898, Bill Genfell met with Dick Saunders and H Farrant, and the idea started. Soon after on the 6th June 1898 the following announcement appeared in the Lyttelton Times, "A meeting of the Sydenham United Hockey Club was held in the Sydenham Gymnasium on Friday evening, when there was a good attendance.” Several of those in attendance were elected as officers of the new club and it was decided to join the Canterbury Hockey Association and thus, officially, the Sydenham Hockey Club was born.
In the early 1880's, Sydenham School had hockey for both boys and girls, and by 1890, with a roll of 1500, was one of the biggest schools in New Zealand, therefore an ideal starting point for the new club. The original colours were a white polo-necked sweater with a 3 inch green sash diagonally across one shoulder. The Thursday Juniors of 1899 seem to be the first team in the Club to wear Blue & Black, the official colours of today.
There were not many games in the first year due to a lack of organised teams to play, Kaiapoi & Tinwald were the only clubs formed before Sydenham, but neither has played continuously, and from enquiries made in New Zealand and Australia, it appears that Sydenham is the oldest continuous hockey club in the Southern Hemisphere. The glory years of the Club were between 1940 and 1960 when anything up to 13 men's teams were entered in competitions and the club had 150 members. During the period 1948 – 1958 the senior team won the competition 7 times and won the trophy for a play off with the Wellington champion club four times. In 1950, there were 8 Sydenham players in the Canterbury team that won the NZ Challenge Shield. In 1980 the Digby's Ladies Hockey Club merged with Sydenham to form the club as it is today.