National stage beckons young hockey champs

May 30, 2023 | Hockey, News

The South West Academy of Sport’s proud track record for producing top-level hockey players has continued, with another batch of quality sports men and women being called up to represent Western Australia on the national stage.

SWAS athletes Luke Blee, Toby Blee, Caleb Bray, Sienna Ramshaw and Milly McLaurin have been selected to wear the black and gold colours of WA at the upcoming Hockey Australia Under-18 National Championships. SWAS alumni athletes Blake Murdoch and Charlie Johnston will also compete at the tournament taking place in Hobart from July 1 to 9. Current SWAS athlete Ruby Williams was selected to train-on.

Held annually, the national championships are a crucial part of the hockey pathways program and feature the best hockey talent at the respective age levels.

Goalkeepers Austin Northrop and Isabella Duff, who have benefited from specialist coaching from Wally Foreman Coach of the Year Keith Old, will head to Adelaide in August. They will defend WA as part of 16-and-under sides that contest the School Sport Australia Hockey Championships.

SWAS hockey head coach Nicole Arrold, a former Australian field hockey player and Hockeyroos assistant coach who now mentors academy athletes, said gaining selection to a State team was a significant step up for the young sports men and women.

“These athletes have been in a pre-season type phase with the SWAS program since January, when they worked hard on their fitness. The SWAS skills training program, combined with the work they do with their clubs has prepared them well for these trials,” Arrold said.

“It’s challenging for country athletes to travel to Perth for trials. They don’t know many other athletes at trials, so to build that connection with players and show that they’re capable is a significant challenge for them”.

Pictured: South West Academy of Sport hockey athletes Austin Northrop, Isabella Duff, Luke Blee and Sienna Ramshaw are among the young guns of South West hockey preparing to step on to the national stage