On the 9th of October, at the club’s 48th Presentation Night, the La Trobe University Hockey Club awarded James Blackburn as Life Member.
Known to most as ‘Blackers’, he joined the club in 2003, following in his wife’s footsteps (who is also a Life Member, awarded in the 2002). This trend would continue with Blackers picking up the role of Treasurer after Belinda stepped down after six years.
James would stay on as Treasurer from 2010 to 2014, during a critical year in the Club’s history. After experiencing a number of years with limited growth and in a tough financial position, Blackers played a key role in establishing and maintaining the club’s strong financial position.
This stability was ensured thanks to Blackers’ work in establishing the LTUHC Foundation, which has since gone from strength to strength and means the Club can continue to prosper in the short and long term.
While he was able to bring a level of professionalism and expertise to the role and broader Club, Blackers wasn’t just a member who sat behind the scenes. On field, he is a natural leader and was appointed Captain of the Men’s 5s for five consecutive seasons – two of which resulted in Premierships (2010 & 2012).
Blackers also played a key role off the field, revitalising the Club’s now strong social culture by introducing new calendar events and breathing life back into existing ones. He notoriously refereed the first Club Appreciation Night, attended Albury Carnival and still has the scar from a post-Grand Final late-night indoor game of cricket.
Blackers was recognised by the La Trobe University for his Outstanding Service with a Blues Award in 2013.
James’ dedication to the Club came during a critical period and played a key role in not only putting the Gunners back on track, but set us up for a very successful future.
Sadly, Blackers and Gus relocated at the end of the 2014 season, but he assures us he’ll be back one day.
For his outstanding commitment to the Club, we’d like to congratulate James Blackburn as the the 18th Life Member of the La Trobe University Hockey Club.
Read more about our Club Honour Boards.