In a career which includes scoring against the All Blacks and coaching a Commonwealth Games gymnast, Professor Fabian Amor is embarking on his next chapter of sporting success.
The Nelson Hockey Association operations manager has been at the forefront of a Nelson Hockey resurgence as he was instrumental in acquiring new turf and a scoreboard at Saxton Fields.
The Argentinian-native has also led the creation of the new hockey Super League to help develop the region’s top players.
The league will include Nelson with other Top of the South associations, Marlborough, West Coast-Buller and Nelson.
“It is important to provide those players with regular, top-quality competition.”
Games will take place once a month for five weeks with three matches to be held in Nelson and one each in Blenheim and Westport.
Players will integrate with their regional rivals to form six new men’s and women’s teams; the Suns, the Falcons and Mr Chips.
Fabian says they tried to combine the 90 players from various regions and positions in the teams.
“It’s really exciting. The players all know each other from rep hockey so there will be good comradery.”
Fabian has a diverse but impressive sporting resume, his career kicking off on the footy field.
He played first five for Argentinian team, Mar del Plata, opposite Wayne Smith against a touring All Blacks side in 1985.
“It was amazing to play against Wayne, Buck Shelford, Jock Hobbs, Robbie Deans, it was the best day of my life.”
Though the All Blacks would win comfortably 52-6, Fabian was lucky enough to convert two penalties for a six-point haul against the best team in the world.
He says he has kept in touch with the former All Blacks, attending a number of workshops hosted by Smith.
Fabian founded and directed the high-performance centre at Mar del Plata, helped coach Kiwi gymnast Jordan Rae at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and was the liaison officer for Argentina during the inaugural All Blacks test in Nelson last year.
His dedication and unwavering passion for sport has helped him transform the Nelson hockey scene.
Fabian was again integral in the installation of two new scoreboards as well as a new turf at Saxton.
“We have been working on that for a long time, so it is great for the community to see it happen, the facility is amazing.”
Not content with helping hockey revive in the region, Fabian also hosts free coaching workshops for coaches of all codes as well as multi-sport school holiday programmes. To register for one, email [email protected]
Super League Draw:
Round 1- April 7, Nelson
Round 2 – May 19, Nelson
Round 3 – June 16, Westport
Round 4 – July 7, Blenheim
Round 5 – Aug 11, Nelson