LOCAL sisters, Amy and Nina Barry-Macaulay, represented Australia at the Pacific Coast Championships, a recent underwater hockey tournament held in Oahu, Hawaii from September 26 to 27.
The championships hosted an Elite Men’s division and an Elite Open division, with 10 teams in each category. Australia fielded teams in both.
Former Wonthaggi Underwater Hockey Club member, Rees Quilford and Craig Thomas competed in the Australian Elite Men’s team, who finished fourth, and the Barry-Macaulay sisters represented Australia in the Elite Women’s team in the Open division, finishing in first place.
The Open division comprised of Elite Women’s teams from Canada, USA and New Zealand, a Amazon’s team of mixed international female players, and a handful of mixed (male and female) club teams from USA. Teams played 10-12 22 minute games across the two days.
After losing their first two games to USA and the Amazons, the Australian Women got off to a slow start.
They managed to pick up their game, defeating both those teams later in the tournament and winning the final 5-1 against New Zealand.
“It’s very rewarding to see the strength training pay off when you muscle in goals against the opposition,” Nina said.
Underwater hockey is a non-contact sport, but does require a lot of strength when players meet each other in contest on the bottom of the pool.
Amy and Nina form part of the Australian Women Underwater Hockey Squad, and the recent tournament in Hawaii is part of their training and preparation for the World Championships in South Africa, in March 2016.