Playing in memory of Fabio

The men's Sparks and Meteors sides coming together after their match last year. Photo: GHA Facebook.

By Liam Emerton

The Central Queensland Hockey League enters round seven this week but there’s a very special day on the horizon for two Gladstone Hockey clubs.

This weekend the Gladstone-based Meteors and Sparks hockey clubs will come together to play for the Fabio Kleynhans Memorial Day.

Players and spectators are encouraged to wear a bucket hat in memory of Fabio with a gold-coin donation on the gate.

What started as a memorial match in 2020 has now become a whole day with the first memorial day being extremely successful alongside being a very emotional day for those involved in Gladstone Hockey.

Sparks’ Caleb Wilson won the Fabio Kleynhans memorial trophy last year while the Meteors won the match 4-0.

This year both clubs will once again honour Fabio with the men’s CQHL contest being hosted at 6:45pm at Rigby Park on Saturday.

While the competition itself is less important than the day, the match could have some decent implications on the table.

The Meteors and Sparks currently find themselves down the bottom of the table, sitting fourth and fifth respectively.

However the Meteors are just a point behind both the Southern Suburbs and Park Avenue on the table, meaning a win this weekend could shoot them straight up to second place.

In the other men’s contest the current league leaders, Wanderers, will match up against Park Avenue in a top-of-the-table clash.

In the women’s competition Gladstone Souths will have their chance to commemorate Fabio when they play Frenchville Rovers at Rigby Park.

Souths were knocked off 4-0 by Southern Suburbs last week but still sit just one win outside the top three.

And of course at Rigby Field the women’s Meteors and Sparks will come together to play off in their memorial match.

The Meteors were mighty impressive last week, defeating long-time Rockhampton rivals Wanderers 2-1 to keep their sights locked on the top of the table.

The Sparks also found a big performance last round, winning 4-0 over the Frenchville Rovers.

Sparks sit a couple wins behind both the Meteors and the league-leading Southern Suburbs so a win against the Meteors would be a huge boost to their minor premiership hopes.

In the final game those Southern Suburbs will face off against the Wanderers in Rockhampton.