Excitement peaks at Sydney’s National Champs

 

The Australian Underwater Hockey National Championships drew to a close last Sunday with an exciting end to an incredibly well-run and enjoyed tournament.

 

The 2015 Australian National Underwater Hockey Championships was hosted by the NSW Underwater Hockey community and held at the Knox Grammar Aquatic Centre in Wahroonga (Sydney). Twenty-seven teams from five different states competed across the divisions: U15, U19, Elite Men, Elite Women and Masters. The tournament began on Tuesday January 20 with a brief formal opening ceremony and social BBQ, and ended on Sunday January 25th with some breathtakingly close finals.

 

The elite divisions saw some of the most exciting and impressive finals hockey from recent years. In the women’s final WA (3) and NSW (2) played goal for goal until the final minutes when WA scored putting them in the lead to close the match. Hayley Digney from WA was awarded MVP.

 

The Men’s final (see above footage) drew a huge crowd – both spectators in water and out were treated to the underwater showdown of 2015, and some of Australia’s most eventful underwater hockey. TAS came into the final the underdogs having fought their way through the round-robin with a collection of losses and wins and battling through the semi-final to defeat VIC (1) goal to (2). WA, the reigning champions have been strong in the elite Men’s division for many years. Both teams showcased a mix of experience and up and coming talent. After a thrilling thirty minutes the teams finished on a draw, forcing overtime. Two extra five minute halves were played with Tasmania scoring and managing to defend WA’s efforts, the final score: TAS (4) vs WA (3). Nick Martin, full back for TAS, was awarded MVP.

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Men: VIC defend a TAS free puck

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Juniors fight it out on the strike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting the finals day was the U15 division, where WA (7) defeated TAS (0). Despite the disparity amongst the teams in this division there were some impressive demonstrations of sportsmanship and community amongst the young players. Pool side all junior teams shared in the excitement, supporting and encouraging each other and their state. A particularly heartwarming moment occurred in the TAS (20) vs VIC (2) game, when TAS coach gathered his team and instructed them to give the opposition an opportunity to score. The Victorian team included some inexperienced players and a combination of VIC and NSW competitors. Tasmania’s good will allowed the Victorian team the opportunity to develop and enjoy a couple of goals. UHA is proud of the fairness and sincerity demonstrated by all its young athletes at this years nationals.

 

TAS (8) dominated in the U19 division, defeating WA (2). Two Tasmanian players were also awarded MVP for these matches. Harry Owens in the U15 division and Dan Gould in the U19.

 

Interestingly, two West Australian teams faced each other in the Masters final: WA Country (0) was defeated by WA Metro (7). Despite their loss, Pat Kelly from WA Country impressed the spectators and was awarded the MVP accolade for the Masters arena.

 

This years nationals facilitated some impressive and sensational underwater hockey matches. Special thanks and praises go to Billy Hodgets, and the team of volunteers and referees who gave their time and efforts to make this tournament the best it could be.

 

UHA look forward already to the next Nationals, which will be held in Bunbury, WA from January 4-8, 2016.

 

ResultsNats2015

 

SELECTION CRITERIA 2015

The selection criteria for 2015 is available to be viewed on the UHA Selection Criteria page.

Selection criteria, coaches and contact details have been finalised for the upcoming selections, which will be held in January during the Underwater Hockey National Championships, in Sydney. Teams for selection include the U19 Men and Woman and U23 Men and Women who will travel to the Aged Groups Championships in Spain, August 2015. Also included is criteria for the Elite Men and Women squads to be selected for to be confirmed Trans Tasman Tournament (2015) and the 2016 World Championships in South Africa.

For a full list of coaches, contact information and criteria, view the selection criteria page. 

Sydney to host 2015 National Championships

The NSW Underwater Hockey branch will host the 2015 Australian Underwater Hockey Championships.

The event will be held at Knox Grammar School from the 19th to 25th of January 2015.

Read more about the event at: http://underwaterhockeyaustralia.org.au/events/31/2015-australian-national-championships/

Trans Tasman 2014

The Trans Tasman Underwater Hockey Tournament

AUS U23 Men - Gold Medalists

AUS U23 Men - Gold Medalists

Monday 7 July – Friday 11th July 2014

Wellington, New Zealand.

Post competition blues set in as the Australian players, Coaches and Management begin to trickle home to their above water realities.

Last weeks Trans Tasman tournament bought together the best of Australia and New Zealand’s U19 and U23 underwater hockey players, with some extras thrown in the mix for good measure. The U23 Men’s division hosted a fluoro clad Barbarian team as well as the national U23 Men teams, while a Amazons team (the Baked BeaNZ) played in the U23 Womens’ division, with equally impressive attire (though the real costumes came out on presentation night – and the Kiwi’s certainly know how to dress up!).

Including the Barbarian and Amazon teams in the tournament provided a challenging and exciting opportunity for our athletes to play against diverse elite level teams. The Amazon team was made up of four world champions from the 2013 NZ Elite Women’s team and others from the world champion U23 Women team. They proved the strongest team by far in the round robin, but the Australian U23 Women managed to score two goals against them over the course of the tournament, the only team to do so. In addition to these bonus teams, cross over games were played in the round robin, adding extra diversity and interest to the tournament. It got particularly interesting when the U19 teams started beating the U23 teams, the AUS U23 women lost 3-0 to the NZ U19 A team on day four of the tournament.

Despite this loss, the AUS U23 Women team improved dramatically and were in for a chance at taking the gold. Their results against the NZ U23 team improved from a 12-0 defeat on day one, to a 3-2 defeat (with only 7 players, resting two injuries) on day three. They unfortunately lost their final against NZ 4-0.

The U19 Men had an equally close tournament, winning and drawing against the NZ U19 Men during the round robin, with an exciting upset when the NZ U19 B team beat the NZ U19 A team. In a close semi final that went into over time the AUS U19 made it into the grand final, just missing out on the gold to NZ U19 Men A (4-2).

The AUS U19 Women played phenomenally for such a young team. The underdogs from the beginning they showed a commitment to improving and learning and managed to score some goals over the tournament against the NZ U19 teams.

The champions of the tournament, the U23 Men, managed to turn a disappointing start into a spectacular end. They were defeated by NZ U23 Men in the first three games of the round robin, drew one game, won a game, lost some more, and went on to win the final 3-1. Huge congratulations to the AUS U23 Men who played their final with a professionalism and commitment to be incredibly proud of, and managed to look reasonable in denim on denim (on denim…). Massive compliments to Matt McCartney (TAS) who took home a well-deserved Most Valuable Player award.

UHA would like to thank all those who made last week possible. New Zealand underwater hockey, you put on a fantastic tournament that truly embraced the ideals of strengthening cross-Tasman friendships; you hosted a remarkable tournament that displayed a commitment to improving the sport, and developing and inspiring our junior players by providing diverse opposition and a fair tournament. Thank you to Sandra Millner, the team manager capable of anything, and who gives everything. To the chaperones and parents, thank you for your help, support, encouragement and assistance in all things. To the coaches and to the athletes, who showed fair conduct, friendliness and a dedication to give their all. Congratulations everyone, your efforts last week have made us all excited for Spain 2015.

For more photos and regular updates visit the underwater hockey Australia face book page.

Sandra - We couldn't have done it without you!

Sandra - We couldn't have done it without you!

Nick and co.

Our precious physio's - Thank you!

The 2014 Margaret River Rumble

Mageret River Rumble - Winning Juniors

Margaret River Rumble - Winning Junior team

The 2014 Margaret River Rumble was a great success with a total of 15 teams! 12 senior teams and 3 junior teams; an impressive effort for a regional club rumble which had interstate players travelling across the continent to be involved.Congratulations to the winning team which consisted of: Tom Miller, Sean Marsh, Hayley Digney, Jason Miles and Shania.
The wooden Spoon was taken by the team: Jason Miezis, Moshe, Greg Biffin, Drew McKenzie, Michaela, Kathleen Oshea.
As you can see from the image (below), the tradition to dress-up the wooden spooners remains in tact. A beautiful tradition and fantastic turnout for a regional club - Well done Magaret River UWH and organisers.
Other notable awards from the event include:
Best and Fairest female: Clare Gleeson
Best and Fairest male: Craig McKenzie
Highest goal scorers: Hayley Digney and Jason Miles
Rising star awards were taken out by Lachy Pendlbury and Nathalie Iredale.
Magaret River Rumble - Winning Team

Margaret River Rumble - Winning Team

 

Margaret River Rumble - Wooden Spoon Team

Margaret River Rumble - Wooden Spoon Team

Team Lists for Australian U19 and U23

There was a buzz at The Hobart Aquatic Centre over last weekend as selections were held for the age group teams heading to New Zealand for the Trans Tasman Competition in July 2014.

This years selections were particularly exciting. In 2014 Australia will field all four age groups, with the first ever  selection of a U23 Women team to complete the set. The buzz in the air culminated in whiteboards full of arrows and courts full of enthusuatic players aiming to impress.

As always the event was excellently organised and facilitated. The weekend involved selectors, coaches, speakers and guest mentors providing the highest level of training, advice, critique and support for Australia's next generation of underwater hockey players.

The excitement in Hobart was perhaps heightened by the omnipresent Aged Group Worlds in 2015. An event certainly in the minds of coaches and players involved in the weekend.

Thanks goes to all those who participated, and congratulations to those who made the teams.

Under 19 Women:

Kaiah Jones (Captain)
Phoebe Dalby (Vice Captain)
Miriam Cockerill
Izzy Dunn
Elise Cleary
Emma Condie
Kate Boulus
Sarah Walker
Maggie Biffin
Annabelle Biffin
Natalie Iredale
Rebecca Woodman

Under 19 Men:

Jared Magill (Captain)
Tom Milner
Alistair Climie
Dan Gould
Jayden Skinner
Ti Pere
Connor Munnings
Richard Cleary
Declan Hilder
Mitch Jones
Matthew Isles
Sam Lohrey

Under 23 Women:

Eliza Game (Captain)
Katelyn Tenbensel
Tori Wickham
Claudia Payne
Briody Hilder
Romy Keppel
Anika Buckley
Sarah Tindall
Molly Martin
Kami Reyes –Perdomo

Under 23 Men:

Matt McCartney (Captain)
Shannon Griffiths (Captain)
Matt Paine
Harry van der Woude
James Milner
Alex Barnes-Keoghan
Ben Stepkovitch
Sean Conaty
Callum Wishart
Mitchell Piccoli
Josh MacKenzie

Queensland Nationals 2014

The 2014 Australian Underwater Hockey Championships at the Palm Beach Aquatic Centre from 23rd to 27th January.

The five day event saw 25 teams across five divisions slug it out at one of the best Underwater Hockey pools in Australia.

The tireless work of Tournament Organiser, Russell Cox, and his colleagues on the Queensland Underwater Hockey committee ensured that the tournament ran seamlessly. Through its administrative excellence Queensland has set an exceptionally high standard for future National Championships.

Final placings

Under 15

2014 Australian U15 division champions, Western Australia [Photo: Tyrone Canning, Mako Productions]

2014 Australian U15 division champions, Western Australia [Photo: Tyrone Canning, Mako Productions]

Final placings:

  1. WESTERN AUSTRALIA 2
  2. TASMANIA
  3. WESTERN AUSTRALIA 1
  4. VICTORIA
  5. QUEENSLAND

MVPs Maggie Biffin (WA) and Isaac Bridley (TAS)

Under 19

2014 Australian U19 division champions, Western Australia [Photo: Tyrone Canning, Mako Productions]

2014 Australian U19 division champions, Western Australia [Photo: Tyrone Canning, Mako Productions]

Final placings:

  1. WESTERN AUSTRALIA
  2. TASMANIA
  3. QUEENSLAND
  4. VICTORIA

MVP: Josh Mackenzie (WA)

Elite Women

2014 Australian Elite Women's division champions, Tasmania [Photo: Tyrone Canning, Mako Productions]

2014 Australian Elite Women's division champions, Tasmania [Photo: Tyrone Canning, Mako Productions]

Final placings:

  1. TASMANIA
  2. NEW SOUTH WALES
  3. VICTORIA
  4. WESTERN AUSTRALIA
  5. QUEENSLAND

MVP Phoebe Stewart (NSW)

Open

Australian Open division champions Western Australia [Photo: Tyrone Canning, Mako Productions]

Australian Open division champions Western Australia [Photo: Tyrone Canning, Mako Productions]

Final placings:

  1. WESTERN AUSTRALIA
  2. TASMANIA
  3. VICTORIA
  4. NEW SOUTH WALES 1
  5. QUEENSLAND
  6. NEW SOUTH WALES 2

MVPs Tom Miller (WA) and Dwayne Stinson (WA)

Masters

Australian Open division champions Western Australia [Photo: Tyrone Canning, Mako Productions]

Australian Open division champions Western Australia [Photo: Tyrone Canning, Mako Productions]

Final placings:

  1. WESTERN AUSTRALIA 1
  2. TASMANIA 2
  3. SA/ACT
  4. QUEENSLAND
  5. WESTERN AUSTRALIA 2

MVP: Derek Duffal (WA1)

Trans Tasman Junior Competition 2014

Details have been announced for this years Trans Tasman Competition.

The Tournament will be held at the Kilburnie Pool in Wellington, New Zealand from the 5th - 13th July, 2014. Australia hopes to fill four teams in the following categories:

U19 Men - Coach: Steve Cleary (TAS)
U23 Men - Coach: Nick Martyn (TAS)
U19 Women - Coach: Chris Wenman (WA)
U23 Women - Coach: Nina Barry-Macaulay (VIC)

Selections for these teams will be held at the Gold Coast Nationals in January, 2014. Postal nominations will be accepted from those unable to attend. All prospective players must nominate to play. This involves participation in selections or postal vote, a $150 nomination fee, and the completion of nomination forms.

If you are interested in participating or would like more information please contact the Team Manager, Sandra Milner, via email: uwhmum [at] hotmail [dot] com.

Success for Australia

ozteam

Australian teams experienced great success at the 18th CMAS Underwater Hockey World Championships. The tournament was held in Eger, Hungary from 23 to 31 August 2013.

With 84 athletes and more than ten support staff it was the largest contingent Australia has ever sent to an international tournament.

All seven Australian teams progressed through to the semi final stage and four teams collected medals.

The Master's Men and Master's Women were crowned World Champions after winning their respective finals. The Master’s Women defeated South Africa 7-2 in the playoff game after going through the tournament undefeated. The Master’s Men won an epic final 4-1 against the Netherlands to secure gold.

The U23 Men had a seesawing final match against New Zealand but were defeated 2-4 to collect silver.

The Elite Men recovered from a heart breaking semi final loss to France (2-1 after extra time) to collect bronze. They defeated Great Britain 7-1 in a one sided final.

The Elite Women were unable to overcome a strong and well-drilled South African outfit in the bronze medal playoff. They tried their hearts out but were defeated 4-1.

The U19 Men and Women’s teams faced France and South Africa in their respective finals. The U19 Men lost 3-4 in an entertaining contest while the U19 Women lost 3-4 in a nail biting game decided in extra time.

Full results from the tournament can be viewed online at: http://www.horizonsolutions.tv/leagues/world-underwater-hockey-championships-2013?view=results

Thank you to all those who sent messages of support and followed the action online.

u19ozgirls u19ozboys2 u19ozboys ozwomen ozmen ozmasterswomen ozmastersmen physios

Thank you players, officials and supporters

Thank you to all the Australian players, officials and supporters that attended the 2013 World Championships in Eger, Hungary.

The tournament proved to be a great success for us. With 84 athletes it was the largest contingent we have ever sent. All of the seven teams we fielded made it through to the semi final stage and we had four teams in the medals.

Congratulations to the Master's Men and Master's Women on bringing home gold, the U23 Men on silver and the Elite Men on bronze.

Finally thank you for all the messages of support and encouragement from back home and around the world.

See you in the water back in Oz.
Rees Quilford
Director, Underwater Hockey Australia