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Hockey ACT raises funds for breast cancer awareness

As she battles her own cancer scare, Central team manager Joyce Hotchkis will be thinking of Chris MacKinnon, who lost her fight with the disease last year.

The Hockey ACT community will come together for the annual Chris MacKinnon Memorial weekend, aimedĀ at providing awareness and much-needed funds for research at the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Saturday's men's Capital League 1 game at the National Hockey Centre will hold extra significance.

MacKinnon's two sons Luke and Paul will be playing for United, while Matt, Dan and Chris Hotchkis will be playing for Central, with both teams wearing pink uniforms.

The Hotchkis brothers won't have to look far for inspiration, with mum Joyce on the sidelines in her role as team manager.

Her thoughts will be with the MacKinnon family as they remember the great contribution Chris made in the hockey community.


''She was a very good friend to me,'' Joyce Hotchkis said.

''I miss her and this day is to remember Chris and everything she stood for. She was a great person and the best umpire I have seen.''

Hotchkis, 58, had no symptoms when she discovered a lump on her neck in November last year.

Tests showed the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes, her neck, under her arm and down to her breast.

She had weekly chemotherapy treatment for five months, starting in December last year and ending in April, and takes a ''maintenanceĀ drug'' every three weeks.

"At the moment, things are looking good,'' Hotchkis said.

''The doctors are really happy with where I'm at.

"It knocked me for six, but we got our heads around it, did what we had to do, got the treatment done and now we just go along and hopefully we'll keep it at bay.''

Hotchkis has drawn enormous support from her husband and her three sons.

But Dan said his mum was the strongest person in the family when they found out about her cancer diagnosis last year.

"It was big shock, no-one's ready for that kind of news,'' Dan said.

"Things are going alright and you're not expecting anything like that. Mum was strong and confident she'd get over it and we knew she would, she's probably the strongest out of all of us.''

All three Hotchkis brothers have represented Australia - Matt, 32, and Chris, 27, for the national indoor team and Dan, 28 in the Olympic Games development squad.

Joyce hails from Crookwell and is related to Hockeyroos player Emily Smith.

Hockey has always been a constant part of life, whether it was as a player to now being a manager for the team containing her three sons.

"It's a lot of fun. They're my sons, but on game day they're Matthew, Daniel and Christopher, just like anyone else,'' Joyce said.

"That's how I've got to treat it. I get to spend a lot of time with the three boys and it's brilliant.''

Fundraising activities for the Chris MacKinnon Memorial weekend will include donation buckets, pink paraphernalia available for purchase and the monster memorabilia raffle.

More than $3000 has already been pledged by sponsors, hockey clubs and individuals.

The men's game between Central and United is on at 1.45pm on Saturday.