Hockey stalwart honoured

Last month Hibiscus Hockey Trust chair Merv Huxford of Orewa was the recipient of the prestigious Pakistan Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in New Zealand.

The award is presented by Hockey NZ and was first awarded in 1976 to encourage relationships between NZ and Pakistan.

Merv was recognised for his services to hockey in a wide range of areas including coaching – two Hibiscus Coast players, Bryce Collins and Dave Kosoof, who Merv coached from Primary school to U18 level, went on to become Black Sticks. Bryce is now assistant Black Sticks Men’s coach and Dave was awarded this year’s Performance Coach of the Year title.

Merv has also played for more than 60 seasons which include 108 internationals for Hockey NZ Masters.

He founded the Hibiscus Hockey Club, has several roles as an administrator and is a tireless promoter of the sport.

Merv says that receiving the award has given him fresh inspiration. “If one has played a passionate and exhausting first half, and then at half time, some fluid and an inspirational message is given, the second half can be dealt to with increased effort and energy. That will be the impact of the Pakistan Trophy on me,” he says.