Changes to the UHA Committee

It has been a big year for Underwater Hockey in Australia. The year kicked off with a hugely successful National Championships in Hobart. The tournament attracted more than 200 participants across six divisions and included the introduction of an U15 junior division.

Our representative teams also enjoyed some fantastic results at the 18th CMAS Underwater Hockey World Championships in Eger, Hungary in August. With 84 athletes and more than ten support staff it was the largest contingent Australia has ever sent to an international Underwater Hockey 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 U23 Men collected silver while the Elite Men overcame a heart breaking semi-final loss to France (2-1 after extra time) to collect bronze with a 7-1 win over Great Britain. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the hard work of the coaches and administrative staff who attended the competition. In particular, Sandra Milner and Jane Gilligan did an amazing job coordinating managing the teams. I would also like to acknowledge the work of our junior team chaperones, Ben and Laura , their work is much appreciated by the UHA committee and the players who traveled. Also a massive thank you to all of the parents and supporters who attended or followed our progress from afar.

On behalf of the UHA and as a player involved on the trip I would also like to express gratitude to the Australian team physios, Nick, Mary-Anne and Lolia, who accompanied us on our trip to Hungary. They did an enormous amount of work on the trip and their knowledge played a vital role in the success that our teams experienced.

Underwater Hockey Australia Annual General Meeting

More recently, the Underwater Hockey Australia AGM saw some substantial changes to the committee. Lena Plambeck (Director of Coaching), Craig Mackenzie (Games Commissioner) and Jodie Miners (Communications Officer) did not re-nominate for their positions. All three made an enormous contribution to the committee and to the betterment of Underwater Hockey here in Australia. They have spent countless hours working within their respective portfolios. Their work will hold the organisation in good stead for the coming years. On the bright side, a new generation of people have stepped up to fill their roles. Nick Martyn is the new Games Commissioner, Nina Barry-Macaulay will fill the Communications Officer role and Angus Sinclair takes the lead on the refereeing portfolio as Director of Refereeing.

I have also decided to step down from the Director role. It has been an interesting and rewarding experience but I feel it is time for a new direction. Unfortunately no nominations were received so the position remains vacant. I will act in the role for the next couple of months so that a suitable replacement can be found.

There have also been some significant changes at State level. Joe Tindal stepped down from his position in South Australia. Joe has made an amazing contribution to the sport in Adelaide. He will be sorely missed.

Next year is looking like an exciting year. Nationals will be held on the Gold Coast in January. Mid-year we will send U19 and U23 teams to New Zealand for Trans Tasmans. We are also looking to hold an Australian club championships in the second half of the year. Hopefully there will be more news on that front shortly.

Please stay safe over the festive season and I look forward to seeing you in the water in 2014.

Rees Quilford, Acting Executive Director, Underwater Hockey Australia