10 May 2023

Underwater hockey reps ready to take on nation

| Cape York Weekly
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Crocs members Rocco Thomason, Sam Ryder, Amber Frame, Sienna Thomason, Jett Ryder, Cruz Ryder and Scott Thomason fundraising for the trip.

A GROUP of Cooktown underwater hockey players are vying for gold at the Australian Underwater Hockey Championships on the Gold Coast this week, with hopes of catching the eye of national team selectors.

Ten teenagers from the Cooktown Crocs Underwater Hockey Club will jet south to join the Queensland U15 and U19 teams after being picked to represent the state earlier this year.

Coach Scott Thomason, who is also the U15 state coach, said Queensland was tipped to win gold at the championships.

“Our kids really focus on their hockey and have become super good in a short period, they are among the best in their age in Australia,” he said.

“Queensland has awesome teams this year, and a really good chance at winning gold.”

Cooktown has three players in U19 A-grade, one in U19
B-grade, two in U15 A-grade and four in U15 B-grade.

The teams play two half-hour games daily for five days, with the top four teams playing off for medal places at the end of the competition.

Thomason said selectors would be watching for potential for the Australian national squad, who will compete at the world championships in Turkey in 2023.

“This is just a stepping stone, our kids are definitely working towards the Trans-Tasman and world championships,” he said.

Thomason said the youngsters took the sport seriously, keeping journals, watching their nutrition and juggling training with study and after school jobs.

“It’s pretty full on and the kids have been working really hard and staying very focused,” he said.

“The community has also been amazing, with everyone supporting all the fundraising the kids have been doing, and some of the businesses and organisations have also donated money.”

He encouraged people of all ages to try underwater hockey.

“We play on Mondays and Wednesdays, with any age and skill level welcome, whether you have played before or not,” he said.

“It’s a great sport for the hot climate, and one that all ages can comfortably play together, so it’s great for families.”

Visit Cooktown Crocs Underwater Hockey on Facebook for more details.

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