It was a double celebration for the Waechter family on Sunday when Marie played her 400th game for the Nuriootpa Hockey Club and son, Matthew 200 games for AM United.
It was Matthew who started playing hockey, coming home from primary school one day to tell Marie he was going to play the sport.
Marie soon followed suit and it has become a family affair with Marie’s children, Louise, Jonathon and Susan playing at different times and Matthew’s wife, Celeste and children, Cody, Mitchell and Chloe also pursuing the sport.
While they have taken to the field every Saturday for the sport, both Marie and Matthew have also contributed behind the scenes being on committees, showing their support on the sidelines, helping to fundraise and for Matthew, coaching.
For Marie, who is in the B grade women side, she continues to enjoy the camaraderie and fellowship of the team.
“It also gives me somewhere safe and relaxing to go to get away from personal stress and other responsibilities,” said Marie.
In the lead up to Sunday’s game, Marie said she was nervous about the match but welcomed the presence of a number of former teammates to watch the action.
“I am at the stage were I have no intention of retiring,” said Marie.
“I have played with my daughter and against my daughter in law and my granddaughter, Chloe who is 11, there may be an opportunity to play against her.”
While Matthew started his hockey with Nuriootpa, playing 150 games he has played the last 200 with AM United.
He is the AM United junior co-ordinator, coaches two teams and has coached at an association level.
Matthew’s contribution to the sport is based on seeing improvement among the junior ranks.
“I want to watch them when I am old and retired… I always said I can’t wait to play with or against them but now with their skill level it is scary,” said Matthew.
Matthew plays in the A men and B men sides for AM United and while acknowledging they are “completely different” teams he says they are great to play with.
Both agree the introduction of turf at Stockwell has improved the game and in particular the skill level of players.
“Since the turf… the skill level has lifted immensely,” said Matthew.
“Now that it is here, we have got to keep the juniors here.”
But as they reached their milestones on Sunday, two games apart at Stockwell, Marie and Matthew recognise it as another game and are thankful they are still able to play.
“I am proud to represent so many games for the club and I am excited, but it is just another game,” said Matthew.
“I would rather win and have a good run into the finals.”
It was the last game of the season for Marie, whose team haven’t progressed into the finals series.
While for Matthew he will play this Friday night against Gawler/Trinity OS for the A men team.