Unsung Heroes: Anita Scott is helping country hockey thrive

Headshot of Breanna Redhead
Breanna RedheadSouth Western Times
Anita Scott
Camera IconAnita Scott Credit: Breanna Redhead/SWT

The name Anita Scott means the world to the South West hockey community and with good reason — the dedicated player, coach and president has been giving back to the sport for almost 30 years.

Capel born and raised, her affiliation with hockey began as a young girl playing through her school, following in the footsteps of her mum and sisters. It seemed she was destined for a life in the sport.

“My mum used to play hockey, and I have three sisters who all played as well,” she said.

“I’ll always remember Saturday morning was a busy time for us — pack up the car, go to hockey and then that was the weekend done ... it’s kind of been that way ever since.”

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Playing her junior years at Capel, she transferred to Carey Park as a teenager, joining forces with Beavers Hockey Club when the side folded, before finally forming the Boyanup Hockey Club women’s side in 2000.

A talented player in her own right, Anita has gone on to win 11 South West Hockey League premierships, as well as 12 premierships in the former A-grade division prior to the SWHL’s foundation, playing more than 500 games in the process.

She even went so far as to don the green and gold on several occasions, representing Australia in the Masters World Cup in Canterbury in 2012, winning silver, 2014 in Rotterdam getting the gold, 2016 in Canberra for another gold and 2018 in Barcelona placing fourth.

Marie Hadet, Dean Lomax and Anita Scott are immensely proud of representing Australia at the EXIM masters hockey world cup in Spain.
Camera IconMarie Hadet, Dean Lomax and Anita Scott are immensely proud of representing Australia at the EXIM masters hockey world cup in Spain. Credit: Jon Gellweiler

Bleeding black and yellow for more than 20 years now, she has held numerous roles within the club over the years — currently playing league women, coaching both the Year 9-12 girls and Senior A2 women’s side while also taking on duties as club president, a role she has held for five years.

Her unwavering support of the club has also been recognised in the form of a life membership.

She said her passion for giving back comes from being raised in a very giving home.

“My mum and dad are fully into their own community groups, and giving back to the bowling club and badminton club, things like that,” she said.

“It just seemed natural for me to follow their steps and be involved in sport in one way or another,”

Also thinking for the greater benefit of the club and the sport, Anita focuses largely on creating a nurturing and supportive environment for young athletes, catalysed by the opportunities provided to her as a young player.

“I really do it because I love the sport,” she said.

“I love what it can give, it can be an individual skill but it’s also got the team-oriented stuff.

“I didn’t play at a super high level, but I played at a level where I could give back to the kids and improve them from where they weren’t able to do something and actually making them feel confident in themselves.”

Anita, centre, with players from the Boyanup Hockey Club.
Camera IconAnita, centre, with players from the Boyanup Hockey Club. Credit: Breanna Redhead/SWT

As part of this focus, the club recently combined it’s junior and senior programs to create a greater sense of community in which players can develop and progress their careers through all ages.

She hopes the move will encourage young players to stay on board, admitting there has been difficulties with player retention in recent years.

“There’s so many other sports on offer now, especially with the Matildas recently, and the cricket, we’re struggling to hold on to girls and boys just to stay in the sport of hockey,” she said.

“When AFL women’s came in it took so many players, some really strong ones too which was a shame for us.

“It’s a bit of a struggle, each team probably has several players that are doing double sports, because they are talented kids so it’s really hard to hang on to them, but we are doing everything we can to keep hockey fun and allow them to stay.”

Boyanup legend Anita Scott playing her 500th game.
Camera IconBoyanup legend Anita Scott playing her 500th game. Credit: Boyanup Hockey Club/RegionalHUB

She said it was exactly this fun, inclusive atmosphere that personally kept her coming back year after year.

“Boyanup is quite a family-oriented club,” she said.

“There’s lots of players that played when they were younger, got married, had kids, and now the kids play here too.

“I think that’s the beauty of Boyanup, is that it has that generational feel with families who want to give back in any way they can.

“We pride ourselves on being professional and developing our kids all the way through so they can reach an age where they’ve had so much exposure to hockey they can then pass on what they know.

“It’s not just one or two that say ‘I’ll help here’, they all pitch in and they all give back to keep the club going.”

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