Casey Sablowski (nee Eastham), Illawarra's most celebrated Hockeyroo, has retired from international hockey after a most illustrious hockey career spanning 258 games.
The three-time Olympian has returned to the Park where it all started more than 10 years ago and back from Perth where her hockey life was based away from family.
Sablowski made this decision after much thought and the birth of her son last year.
A recurring knee injury which had plagued her since she stepped away from the Hockeyroos also played a part.
She had intended to make a return to the national team this year for the London World Cup and her fourth Olympics in Tokyo in 2020 but she admitted the body could not hold up.
“The main reason for retiring was that I felt my body was unable to meet the demands of high level hockey.” Sablowski said.
“I also wanted to focus on the other important parts of my life.”
Although not winning an Olympic medal, Sablowski won gold medals at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games and a silver medal at the 2014 World Cup.
With a teaching degree she acquired whilst in the hockey program in Perth, she will now mentor and teach talented athletes in the NSW Hockey program now with the Australian Under 21 championships presently taking place in Sydney.
Back in the Park and in the midst of her family members and friends, she will now spend more time with her son and husband Scott and also assist the local Illawarra hockey community.
Sablowski was always destined to become an elite hockey player coming from a great family hockey dynasty of her parents, the Eastham and Hayes hockey families from Albion Park.
Both her parents Keith and Janette were NSW State players, together with her uncles and aunties and brother Matthew who was a former State Under 21 player and Australian Schoolboys player.
Her father Keith “Ocka” Eastham said Casey had had a fantastic hockey career.
She was destined to be one of the best from a very young age playing with the boys at junior level, he said.
“Her work ethics and temperament stood out for the Hockeyroos.
“She was hoping to get to the Tokyo Olympics but family duties and a recurring knee problem were the deciding factor.
“I couldn't be any prouder of her," Ocka said.
A statement by Hockey Australia said it extended its “sincerest thanks to Casey for her wonderful contribution to the sport and wish her the best of luck in the next chapter of her life”.