Kathleen Elaine (Peggy)BATTY

Kathleen Elaine Batty (known as “Peggy”) was born in 1920, the daughter of Alfred Batty (whose family emigrated from England in the 1890’s) and Zilla Oberlin-Brown. Originally from Whangarei, the Batty family moved to Auckland in 1921 where Alfred was employed by the International Harvester Company.

Peggy and her sister Wilma attended Takapuna Grammar School, where Peggy first received sporting recognition as a champion swimmer. Having gained her School Certificate in 1938, she enrolled at Auckland Teachers College and qualified as a Physical Education Teacher in 1942. Originally posted to Rotorua Primary School, Peggy became an instructor of a new style of physical education which shifted the concept of "physed" from “training for war”, to an idea of “training for life”.

While at Teacher’s College, Peggy was a member and player for both the Ladies’ Cricket and Hockey Clubs. In 1939 she was appointed a Vice-President of the Auckland Ladies’ Hockey Association, while also playing for the Training College cricket team, where she gained recognition as a fast-medium bowler and all-rounder.

Batty played four cricket test matches for New Zealand between 1949 and 1954, being a member of the 1954 team which toured England. For the tour, the team needed to fund-raise £5,000 to cover their travel costs, uniforms and equipment, in addition to a £1,000 grant from the Government.

The prior year, she had the distinction to captain the first New Zealand women’s hockey team to the 1953 International Federation of Women’s Hockey Association (IFWHA) tournament in Folkestone, England, with the team winning 16 of 20 games. However, there was no winning team, because the IFWHA tournaments were strictly amateur; athletes competed purely "for the love of the game". This non-competitive model of play continued until 1975.

Peggy Batty was employed by Auckland Education Board from 1939 to 1962 and died in 2008

Picture: Double-international, Kathleen Elaine "Peggy" Batty.