In the years prior to 1958 the Elsternwick hockey club had seen many of it’s talented players cease playing when they married, as they purchased homes in the developing areas on the outskirts of Melbourne, and found it difficult to stay active members of the club. In 1958 the Mount Waverley area was one of the most rapidly developing suburbs in Melbourne. It was realised that at least nine Elsternwick players lived in this area, which prompted the Elsternwick hockey club secretary at the time, Arthur Slade to write letters to each, with the suggestion of forming a new club in the Mount Waverley area. So with the contacting of other players from other clubs who also lived in the area, there was enough support for the formation of the new club, and on 30th of October 1958 at an informal meeting, the Mount Waverley Hockey Club was formed.
On the Field
In its inaugural year, the Mount Waverley Hockey Club consisted of one team in C grade. Immediate on-field success followed and this team won three premierships in a row and promotion to B grade. A second team was entered in 1960, a fourth team in 1969, a seventh team in 1979, and a veterans team in 1981. Team numbers have stabilised at eight. The Waverley mens team first played in the top grade in 1974.
With increasing development in the Waverley area, it was felt that the title of “Mount Waverley Hockey Club” was inappropriate, so in February 1964, the club was renamed the “Waverley Hockey Club”.
The first junior team was entered in 1961, numbers increased rapidly to five in 1969, ten in 1974, twelve in 1981, and have now stabilised at nineteen. The junior teams consist of girls, boys and mixed teams ranging from under 10 to under 16. Waverley has one of the largest junior membership in Victoria.
In 1969 two recent school leavers from Mount Waverley High initiated moves to form the Waverley Womens Hockey Club. One team (mostly schoolgirls) was entered in the lowest grade of competition and finished fourth. A second team was entered 1970 and a third in 1972. The women won their first premiership in 1972. The number of teams increased to four in 1974, and to six in 1979. The women reached the top grade in 1985.
The mens and womens clubs operated separately but co-operatively from 1969, until their amalgamation in 1980.
Waverley has won the first grade mens competition on eight occasions and the womens five times and numerous premierships in the juniors and other grades. Many players have gained representative honours at state, national and Olympic level.
The rapid growth in team numbers and the competition format limiting play to Saturdays meant that the club had to operate from a number of venues for many years. These venues included Syndal State School, Syndal Technical College, Sixth Avenue Reserve, Burton Street Reserve, Essex Heights Reserve, Larpent Street Reserve, Electra Avenue, Jingella Avenue, Waverley High School, Glen Waverley High School, Waverley Meadows Primary School, Gladeswood Reserve and Jells Park. The club did not have access to a pavilion until it’s thirteenth year of operation.
In the mid 1970’ the Waverley council provided two grounds at Electra Avenue and a Pavilion. One of these grounds was subsequently upgraded to an en-tout-cas surface, ground lighting was installed at club expense. Council subsequently extended an existing building at this reserve to provide excellent facilities shared by the hockey club and a senior citizens group. Waverley Hockey Club with the support of the City of Monash consolidated at Winbirra Parade, Ashwood and pioneered the installation of modern synthetic surfaces at club level. The ground at Ashwood was laid in May 1986. Clubroom facilities were added in two stages through the 1990’s. The two grass grounds provided at this venue were relinquished in the mid-1990s as more clubs installed synthetic surfaces.
Waverley boasts over 40 teams entered into all levels of indoor and outdoor hockey. Our top teams in Juniors, Women’s and Men’s sections all play at the highest possible level in Victoria’s hockey competitions and have enjoyed regular success over the years. This is due to the quality of our facilities, a strong relationship with the City of Monash, support from local businesses, outstanding coaching, sound administration and the considerable involvement of members and parents.