It’s not every day that husband and wife are successful in the same sport.
It’s rarer still that this occurs at national level in the same year.
But Bolwarra couple Joan and Stan Hart bucked the trend by claiming gold medals on the hockey field at the Australian Masters Championships.
“So many people have said that to me about a husband and wife doing well [in the same year at nationals],” Joan said.
“I mean a lot of husband and wife pairs play together at masters, but not many win gold together.
“It would be pretty rare, especially being from a little place like Maitland.”
Both players were representing NSW at the annual national championships, Joan in the over 60s division and Stan in the over 55s.
Joan started proceedings with a triumph in Melbourne last month and Stan followed in Hobart the next week.
“I got off the plane in Hobart and said to the boys, ‘look what I’ve got’,” Joan said.
“I had my gold medal in hand and the pressure was on them to match us.”
Stan delivered with a 2-1 win against ACT in the decider, which backed up Joan’s 2-0 final triumph against Victoria.
This was the second time Stan, a goalkeeper, had represented NSW at the tournament while for Joan, a striker, it was her fifth appearance but first in the older age group.
Joan also scored a gold medal at last month’s 2012 Pan Pacific Masters Games at the Gold Coast with Maitland-based team Aged To Perfection.
She also won gold at the 2010 version of the same competition and managed to finish on top of the podium at the 2009 and 2011 Australian Masters Games.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.