Mike Paardekooper is our first Volunteer Appreciations acknowledgement. Mike was instrumental in 2018 when he played a significant role in bringing the Tri Nations International Hockey Series between Australia, Japan and the Vantage Black Sticks Women. Mike managed to do this all the while he was battling terminal cancer.
A few years earlier Mike had played a massive role in Cromwell receiving an upgrade to the existing facility which meant that the turf was replaced with an international playing surface and a hockey pavilion was built.
Mike was also part of the original group of people who helped fundraise for the initial sand turf more than 20 years ago where they did mountain bike races, 4-wheel drive trips and gold bar draws.
Central Otago Deputy Mayor Neil Gillespie commented “He’s done so much for Cromwell for so long. Its hard to sum up in words the massive contributions that Mike has made to Central Otago.”
Not only was Mike a passionate supporter of Central Otago Hockey he was a Cromwell Businessman helping to establish a successful Paper Plus franchise and local government leader.
Sadly Mike lost his battle with Cancer in early 2019, his impact on Central Otago remains and his contributions to the region will be felt by the next generation that get to experience the amazing Olympic level facility in Cromwell.