This story was created for Robin Hodder's grandchildren to celebrate his extraordinary acheivements as an Olympic sportsman, a husband of 38 years and the world's greatest dad.
This is a story celebrating the life of their grandfather Robin, for Lindsay and Finn and for those grandchildren to come. Robin played hockey for Australia and won a Bronze Medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 1964.
The Olympic Games is about being part of something bigger than yourself, sharing the history, spirit, ceremony and tradition of the most enduring and admirable human event of all time. He played right wing and set up the winning goal in the final game against Spain. As an elite sportsman Robin is tenacious, single minded, committed, loyal and determined. There is a drive to learn, to achieve, to play well, to win, to keep going, to never give up.Through hockey he has made lifelong friends. The qualities Robin demonstrates in his sport are part of the everyday man.
We married in 1965 and incorporated a hockey carnival into our honeymoon. What a surprise, for me at least. Life is much easier when your quirky sense of humour is finely tuned.
We are so proud of our children Jane and Andrew and were delighted when they married Murray and Yvette. Robin is the one who wasn’t fazed by a mountain of study after hockey training, parent teacher interviews or party’s when you are only 14. But don’t tell him if you put a dent in the car or ask him about his golf score if he’s unusually silent on Saturday night.
Robin trained as an accountant but changed his focus when computer technology was in its infancy. In recent years he ran his own IT business. Robin coached many teams at all levels but is committed to the development of young players. With others he commenced a juniors section at his hockey club. Robin believed in those boys and girls and as they grew older became their mentor. Andrew remembers as a Cub, Robin and he made a box kite together as a project. Together with Jane they flew it in a competition. The kite soared up and up, quickly using all the string they had and the string of anyone who had extra to spare. When it was just a speck Robin said “Let’s cut it free”. Robin encourages, empowers and then cuts you free.
Robin has a progressive neurodegenerative disorder known as Cortico Basal Ganglionic Degeneration. There is no treatment. “I feel that my life is being dismantled”. The relentless loss of physical independence and mental competence is devastation and yet he remains optimistic. He is dealing with his disease relying on the qualities he has used throughout his life to achieve and overcome difficulties with the support of those who love him.