A FIFTEEN-year-old teenager from Wonthaggi has been chosen to represent Australia on the international stage in underwater hockey.
Ben Robinson has been selected to join the Australian Under 24 Men’s team.
They will compete in the fifth World Underwater Hockey Age Championships later this year.
In March, Ben travelled to Perth for an underwater hockey training camp – at which the team was to be selected.
It took a gruelling three days of high-level underwater hockey before he was announced as one of the successful competitors. Ben was competing against players who were many years his senior.
The World Age Championships are held every two years and bring together young players from such countries as France, Columbia, New Zealand, South Africa, England, Canada, Spain, Turkey, Italy, Netherlands and the USA.
Ben says he’s “over the moon” about his selection.
And it means he’s following in the footsteps of his older brother Tom, who along with two other players from Wonthaggi, represented Australia at the 2017 Age Championships held in Tasmania that year.
The hard training now starts for Ben, with four swims a week and at least two games of hockey to hone his skills and fitness.
He will be required to travel to Melbourne for some of his training as a suitable pool for underwater hockey at this level is not available in this region.
Ben is a member of the Wonthaggi Underwater Hockey Club, which plays at the Wonthaggi YMCA every Thursday night.
“The Wonthaggi Underwater Hockey club have been producing state and national players for many years now, and under less than perfect conditions for the sport,” a spokesperson for the club said.
“Any serious competition is played in a pool that is at least 2m deep, something that is sadly missing in this region.
“The Wonthaggi Underwater Hockey Club is however very excited about the Bass Coast Shire Council’s advocacy to gain government funding to redevelop the Wonthaggi pool.
“It is an opportunity to build a facility that will fulfil the needs of not only the aquatic clubs but recreational swimmers as well, and for years to come.”
Anyone interested in trying Underwater Hockey can either contact the club via Facebook or just show up at the YMCA on a Thursday night.
Juniors play from 7pm – 8pm. More experienced players play from 8pm – 9pm. The club plays all year round except for school holidays.
Ben takes on the world