Underwater hockey titles underway
MARYBOROUGH’S Angela Hanson has only been playing underwater hockey for the past few months – but soon she will compete at one of the sport’s highest levels.
Hanson will compete for Queensland at the national titles in Hobart this week and she can’t wait to do her best for her state.
“I am really looking forward to it,” she said yesterday.
Hanson is a strong field hockey player and likes swimming and said it was a lot of fun to combine the two.
She tried the sport out “just for a bit of fun” and soon found she was addicted.
“It’s something a bit different.”
Hervey Bay’s Sarah Rossiter will also be competing in the national titles but she has been competing in the sport for four years and has plenty of experience behind her – including competing with an Australian development squad.
Her husband, James, will be competing for the men’s team at the national titles. James has represented Australia in the sport in the past and can’t wait to represent his state.
Sarah isn’t sure how the Queensland women’s team will fare at the titles – it is the first time in a few years the state has been able to field a side in the titles.
But she is confident the men’s state side will compete strongly – they have won the bronze medal for the past few years and she is hoping they will either equal that achievement or better it.
All three compete in the Hervey Bay mixed underwater hockey competition, which is held at Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre on Monday and Wednesday nights.
Hanson said it was fun to play in a mixed competition, although the state and national titles have separate men’s and women’s events.
The game is played with six players, three forwards, two back and a fullback. The players use flippers, goggles and snorkels to play underwater.
A hockey puck is hit along the bottom of the pool and weighted goals are placed at the bottom of either end of the pool.
Sarah said the titles always had a great atmosphere, with good camaraderie between the sides.
Unlike Hanson, Sarah doesn’t play any other sport – she wouldn’t even describe herself as a strong swimmer but said she found her niche when she got the chance to try the sport while living on the Gold Coast.