Underwater hockey stars score for State team

The Margaret River Underwater Hockey Club is celebrating their success in the pool at the Australian Underwater Hockey Championships in Queensland late last month. 

Eight players from the Margaret River club travelled to Cairns for the competition, with the group representing WA in the Masters, U19s, Elite Women’s and U15s divisions.

The WA contingent collected a silver medal in the Masters, U15s and Elite Women while the U15s Development team collected bronze. 

Junior coordinator Kathleen O’Shea said it was fantastic to see the local players representing the State.

“WA entered two teams in the U15s division: an A team and a development squad,” she said.

“The club is so proud of our 5 junior players who competed in this division. For three of our kids, it was their first Nationals and they had a ball.

“Our two U15s players were elected for leadership roles with Alby Rogers as Vice for the U15A team and Ollie Rogers captaining the U15 Development team.

“This division had strong regional representation with most players coming from Margs, Busselton, Collie and Bunbury. Country kids with country town support!

“Great also to see two of our older juniors, James Iredale and Lilly Ladd McGovern, continue to compete at national level in the U19s and Elite divisions.”

McGovern was awarded the Most Valuable Player award for her performance in the Elite women’s final.

“The U15 Development team play off for bronze against Victoria was one of the most exciting games to watch,” said Ms O’Shea. 

“With a 4-all draw, the game went into extra time to a nail-biting finish with the WA team claiming victory over last year’s gold medal winners, 5 to 4.”

Kaya Gilboa from the U15s development team said the experience of playing in the competition was amazing. 

“I learned so many new things. I loved playing for WA, there was so many great people supporting us,” Ms Gilboa said. 

“I’d love to compete for WA next year. Cairns was so lovely and warm, and fun to play outside in the outdoor pool.”

As well as playing in the competition, some of the local players took on leadership and coaching roles: PJ McGovern (club president) coached the Masters, Ollie Rogers captained the U15 Development team and Alby Rogers was vice captain for the U15 A team. 

Ms O’Shea said the club was also grateful for the support of Georgina Wilkinson who acted as chaperone on the visit. 

Friday junior games start up again in Term 2 on May 10.

Interested in playing Underwater Hockey?  

Get in touch with Club President, PJ McGovern 0407 387 662 or visit www.facebook.com/MargaretRiverUnderwaterHockeyClub to find out more.