Regular runners at the Cross Flatts parkrun were joined on Saturday (29 April 2017) by members of the GB Underwater Hockey squad.
For the last 2 years Underwater Hockey players from all over Great Britain have regularly been attending training weekends at The John Charles Centre for Sport. As part of these weekends, on several occasions, they have taken part in the Cross Flatts parkrun. This has been a useful tool for both team building and measuring fitness. This weekend 18 of the 35 players who completed the park run achieved a Personal Best time (PB).
Underwater Hockey, as the name suggests is played underwater. Players wear mask, fins and a snorkel and hold their breath whilst pushing a heavy puck on the bottom of the swimming pool. Teams consist of 10 players with 6 in play at any one time and 4 subs who can swap at any time. Players usually hold their breath for 15-20 sec at a time, go up take one or 2 breaths and then back down again. Fitness is key to success. Games are 30 minutes long and the aim is for teams to score goals in a gulley at either end of the pool. More information at www.gbuwh.co.uk/
In July this year, 4 teams from GB will be travelling to Tasmania to compete in the World Age Groups Championships. There are both men’s and women’s teams in the U19 and U23 category. The players have only just received confirmation of their selection and are very excited but also have to deal with the financial problems of raising £3,000 each to fund the trip. Local club, Batley, is holding a race night on Saturday 6 May to help support the 9 players from its club going to Tasmania. All these players, and their coaches Richard Adams and Joanne Pitchforth, regularly train at Leeds making use of the 2m deep John Charles Pool.
Joanne Pitchforth, GB U19 Women’s Coach, commented:
“On behalf of GB Underwater Hockey, we would like to thank the Cross Flatts parkrun volunteers for making us feel welcome and helping us with our training.”