How proud sporting city shared in silver medal joy
"IT'S been a long road but it's been good''.
That's how proud mum Alison Holzberger summed up how she and husband John felt following daughter Jordyn's silver medal success at the Commonwealth Games.
Alison, John and a large Ipswich contingent cheered on Jordyn from the Gold Coast Hockey Centre stands as the Hockeyroos fought hard in the final on Saturday afternoon.
Although New Zealand were the better side on the day winning 4-1, the Holzbergers and their supporters had plenty to be delighted about.
"We're very proud,'' the Ipswich mum said. "It's very exciting.''
Alison saw Jordyn after the final, looking forward to spending more time with her after she completed her Games commitments.
"They (the Hockeyroos) were a little bit disappointed but after an hour or so the disappointment had faded and the excitement of getting a silver medal was there.
"Second in the Commonwealth . . . you've got to be happy with that.''
Jordyn, 24, played in all six matches for Australia making her Commonwealth Games debut.
"I think she was a little bit tournament tired but she'll be fine,'' Alison said.
"That's all you can expect for your kids. They get out there and do the best they can.''
Among the supporters were a group of Jordyn's long-time Hancocks teammates.
"It was magnificent in the stands,'' Alison said. "Everyone yelling and doing what they could to encourage the girls. Everyone had their signs up.''
Alison also appreciated a message from another proud Ipswich mum and Silkstone State School teacher Karen Neale. Karen had watched her daughter Leah share in a golden Commonwealth Games performance in the pool a week earlier.
"She sent me a text wishing us well and just said enjoy the moment,'' Alison said.
"It was good. She's been a lovely support.''
However, it wasn't only those at the Games venue cheering on the Ipswich hockey achiever.
Jordyn's former Hancocks and Ipswich Girls' Grammar School coach Murray Rogers took a break from fly fishing in chilly Tasmania to watch her play.
Long-time coach, umpire and school sport official Rogers was among those to first recognise Jordyn's ability as a 13-year-old in the Ipswich competition.
"There are a lot of good people in all sports, a lot of talented people,'' Rogers said. "But what sets them up to elite level is they have that X-factor.
"And sometimes you can't really even put your finger on it. You just see an athlete in a sport and you know they are something special.''
Rogers said other young players were as fit and trained as hard as Jordyn "but she just had that special X-factor that stood her out from others and she had the ability to step up in higher company.''
Rogers also praised Jordyn's parents for their fantastic support as she matured from an Ipswich youngster to confident international performer.
That included helping Jordyn when she made a massive commitment to head to Perth to join the national hockey centre of excellence.
"She went to Perth at a very young age and John and Alison have had to emotionally and financially support her for a long time,'' Rogers said.
Although Jordyn battled some injuries and missing out on some team selections along the way, she never gave up.
During the Gold Coast Games, she achieved her 60th international milestone for Australia.