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SA Hockey is shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of the multi-talented Fabian Gregory. Fabian excelled as an all-round sportsman at school, representing Border at Athletics, Baseball, Cricket, Football and Hockey in various age group teams. His leadership attributes saw him in a role as captain in his school Hockey and Cricket teams.
He obtained national school colours in Hockey and Cricket in the SACOS era. Fabian achieved provincial hockey colours for both Border and Western Province.
The well-liked Fabian qualified as a teacher and quickly got involved in coaching at school and club level. He embraced the challenge of achieving his coaching qualifications in both hockey and cricket, which afforded him the chance to grow as a coach and to take up coaching opportunities in both sports in various provinces.
Fabian took on the position of Coaching Education Manager at SA Hockey in 2008. He was instrumental in the reviewing and restructuring of the SA Hockey Coach Education Scheme, which became the cornerstone of the current SA Hockey Coach Education Framework. Given his background in Education, Fabian excelled as the lead coaching facilitator and coaching manager that coordinated the SA Hockey & Dutch Hockey coach education exchange programme.
Fabian took on national opportunities as a highly qualified coach himself from as early as 2004 when he took on the role as Assistant Coach of the SA/u19 and the SA ‘A’ Mens Manager. He served various national teams noticeably as the coach of the SA u17 and u18 Boys, SA u21 Women and the Assistant Coach of the SA Women. In 2014 he made a switch and was appointed the National Mens Coach. As a coach he represented SA at different international competitions with his best highlights being the Africa Cup and Olympic Qualification events of 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2015, the Womens World Cups of 2006, 2010 and 2014, the Junior Womens World Cup of 2009, the Commonwealth Games of 2010 and 2014, and the Olympic Games of 2008 and 2012.
Fabian was presented with his FIH Coach certificate in 2016, this is the highest level of FIH Education.
In 2016 Fabian took up an opportunity to coach in Hong Kong at club level and was eventually appointed at as the Hong Kong National Mens Coach a roll he fulfilled until his untimely passing.
Fabian was highly regarded in African Hockey circles and was always willing to impart & share his knowledge with other African Hockey coaches. He was highly regarded within the international hockey coaching arena.
He made a huge impact on the standard of coaching within South Africa & Africa and has been attributed by many players at all levels as the biggest influence in their hockey development. The tributes seen since his passing speak volumes about the passion he had for the game, his special ability for talent identification and his mentorship role for both coaches and players alike.
We pay tribute to Fabian Gregory today and express our sincere condolences to his son Jamie, his family, his friends and the hockey community at large.