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Vale Verna Klye

Published Tue 09 Jul 2024

Hockey Victoria is deeply saddened to hear of the recent passing of Verna Klye. 

Verna was inducted as a HV life member in 2023 for her service to Hockey in Victoria. 

Verna Klye had a longstanding 50+ year contribution to Hockey Victoria, Hockey Australia, and a variety of member states across the country. Verna’s coaching resume is unlike any other, beginning with the creation of a variety of coaching camps in her initial year of coaching, to moving up to State Based coaching roles, before working with the National teams.

Verna first major coaching roles begun back in 1977 and 1978 where she coordinated coaching camps for the U17’s in Queenscliff and Healesville. This continued on for 4 more years with this coaching camp as the U17’s were trained in Crystal Creek.

This Victorian based coaching camp caught the eye across the country as Verna was quickly made coach of Senior Women’s Team in Western Australia in 1983. This set Verna off on a journey unlike many coaches would experience. She would go onto Coach Senior Women’s in Queensland (1984), U21 Women’s in Canberra (1985), U18 Women’s in Victoria (1986), U18 Women’s in Tasmania (1987), and finally, U18 Women’s in New South Wales (1988). For 6 years, Verna would travel across the country dedicating her time and passion into Women’s Hockey. Coaching a variety of age groups in completely different states goes to show how valued and respected her knowledge and expertise was to those around the country.

Through Verna’s career as a coach under the VHA, National stage, and across various member states, it proved how much she has given to hockey over a 50+ year tenure. She has been a pioneer in Women’s Hockey across the Country and has paved the way for years to come.

Verna’s impact on Hockey is entrenched in the difficulties that she had to go through to eventually coach at the national level. In a male dominated coaching industry through the 1970’s to 1990’s, Verna would have been overlooked on many occasions for national selection. This didn’t stop Verna from striving to achieve this level as she would go on to coach around the Country in multiple states before finally reaching the national achievement in the 1980’s. Verna’s impact on Hockey is seen through her perseverance and breaking through the glass ceiling as a female coach in a male dominate industry. This inspired and broke down the barriers for women in the future to follow their path in Hockey and follow their own coaching passions in the sport.