A SILVER medal at the recent Australian Under-15 Girls’ Hockey Championships in Darwin capped a golden season for Bucca teenager Katie Steemson.
The Raiders Hockey Club rising star and Gin Gin State High School student was the only Wide Bay player in the Maroons team at her first nationals, and she was one of their stand-outs throughout the round-robin tournament.
Steemson netted four goals, but Queensland wound up a close second to New South Wales, beaten by a mere one point.
She had forced her way into the side with a series of dominant performances for Bundaberg at the state championships at Tweed Heads earlier in the year, scoring nine of their 11 goals.
Returning to the club scene, Steemson continued to go from strength to strength, and a string of major awards presented at the Bundaberg Hockey Association (BHA) grand finals were testimony to her excellence.
It started on the Friday night when she took out the Division 2 Women’s Player of the Final award despite being on a losing side.
On the Saturday, she was crowned as the Under-15 Representative Player of the Year, before the 15-year-old was surprised to pick up the two most coveted awards in Bundaberg women’s hockey later in the night, the Senior Player of the Year and the Jenny Hartley Trophy for Most Improved Senior Player.
Steemson has always played for the Raiders club since starting the game nine years ago, and she always showed great potential, and she took out the BHA gong for the Most Improved Minkey Player in her second season 2003.
The tough competitor continued to collect awards every year, and she made her Bundaberg debut in 2005, and went on to gain her first Wide Bay honours in 2006.
She has collected a further two Wide Bay caps and in 2007, she was an integral member of the Regional team which clinched a famous victory in the Queensland Primary Schools girls’ championship.
Steemson was groomed for future state duty when she was chosen in the Queensland Talent Identification Squad in 2008 and got a taste of higher level hockey at a carnival in Armidale.
What made the winning the Women’s Senior Player of the Year title extra special was that her cousin Colby Zahn claimed the men’s equivalent 10 minutes later, and her dream run continued at the nationals.
Steemson has shown great character to achieve what she has this year after doing it tough for months after the sudden death of her father Paul on Australia Day.
Her accomplishments have also been a result of her great dedication and hard work under her mentors, especially her club coaches, her Aunty Nola Zahn, who is in charge of her J1 team, and senior women’s doyen Brett Powell.
She dreams of becoming a Hockeyroo but for now, Steemson is enjoying a well-earned rest but is very grateful to everyone who has helped her get where she is.
“Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me, from my Mum Leanne and all my family, my coaches, Raiders and Bundaberg Hockey, friends and the businesses who have helped with my fund-raising,” Steemson said.