WONTHAGGI was massively represented in the Victorian underwater hockey teams that attended the National Championships in Sydney last week.
The Under 15s mixed team – with eight of nine competitors coming out of Wonthaggi – won the silver medal.
Their coach Kevin Chisholm formerly of Archies Creek says the town’s underwater hockey skills are recognised around Australia.
“There must be something in the water at Wonthaggi, of the 40 players attending from Victoria, 23 learned their craft in Wonthaggi,” he said.
“While the results didn’t all go our way, Victoria came home with a good share of trophies, winning silver in the U15s and the women’s and bronze in the U19s.
“We were happy to beat China 3-2 and 9-1 in the round robin, who then went on to win the division.”
Kevin says the Wonthaggi Underwater Hockey always welcomes new players.
So, how do you play hockey underwater?
Players hold their breath and duck dive down to swim along the bottom of the pool, pushing and manoeuvring a 1kg plastic-coated lead puck into a goal tray at the end of the pool.
In most sports, the harder you try and the more you do, the more you breathe.
In underwater hockey, the more you do and the harder you work, the less you breathe.
It is a great sport for surfers and divers as it improves your ability to hold your breath.
Players include many ex-club swimmers who want to keep swimming and use their skills in a different area.
It is an unusual team sport offering many benefits such as team play, fitness and friendship and is played at the Wonthaggi pool on a Thursday night from 7pm.
Wonthaggi vs Australia… and China!