All News

It’s 3:30pm on Tuesday afternoon and Years 7–12 girls in St Peters QGSSSA Hockey teams hit the turf at the University of Queensland Hockey Club for the first of two weekly training sessions.

Hockey Captain, Maddie Kennedy, has played Hockey since Year 9. She says the niche sport’s popularity is on the rise thanks to a new wave of girls who want to expand their skill-sets.

‘I decided that I would give Hockey a go as a change,’ Maddie explained. ‘And it was a very good change.’

This year, St Peters fielded three teams: Junior, Senior and Open, comprising of new and seasoned players alike. Maddie says she was attracted to the Hockey program’s inclusive culture.

‘It doesn’t have the pressures of other sports in the school,’ Maddie explains, ‘creating a friendly and inviting atmosphere that allows girls of all abilities to play, train and interact.’

Teammate, Kate Hodgson, transitioned into playing Hockey in Year 11. After years of competitive Rowing and Football, she was ready for a new challenge and says the Hockey pitch was the perfect landing place.

‘It’s not as scary as it looks,’ Kate reveals. ‘I was initially cautious of the hockey sticks and the fact that, to be allowed on the field, you have to wear a mouthguard. But once I joined, it turned out to be the most enjoyable sport I’ve ever played.’

Kate says Hockey has taught her the value of teamwork.

‘Each season, the Senior team possesses varying levels of skill – from girls who have never picked up a stick, to those who have been playing for a few years,’ Kate explained. ‘From this, we learn to cover each other and work together in games to balance our skill levels.’

But Maddie says that teamwork isn’t the only benefit of the sport.

‘Adapting to our opposition, reading different plays and skill levels, as well as filling our own gaps when players are absent, allows us to build problem-solving and improvisational skills,’ Maddie explains. ‘Overall, Hockey provides many lessons relevant in our everyday lives.’

Cameron Glass, Primary Years HPE Teacher at St Peters Indooroopilly and Hockey Coordinator, has been involved in the program since 2009. While he admits that the benefits of the sport are many, he says its technical nature is still a deterrent to newcomers.

‘It’s quite a technical sport, so it takes a very long time to learn the skills,’ Cameron explains.

To attract new players, Cameron runs Hockey skills sessions at the Sport for Life program for Years 4–6 students on Friday afternoons, which prepares students for organised sport in the secondary school.

The Hockey teams also have access to world-class facilities at the University of Queensland (UQ).

‘We now train and play all of our games at UQ on an international surface,’ Cameron said.

Maddie says taking up Hockey has been one of the best decisions she has made.

‘I have met so many new people, learned valuable life lessons and created memories that I won’t forget,’ Maddie says. ‘For anyone who wants to play Hockey but may be unsure – do it! You won’t regret it!’

Kate agrees girls should give Hockey a shot.

‘Just do it,’ Kate urges, ‘because you’ll never know if you don’t try.’

For more information about Hockey, contact Shaun Nodwell, Director of Sport, in the first instance: s.nodwell@stpeters.qld.edu.au.