Triumph Australian Indoor Hockey Festival in Goulburn
Two stars of the hockey pitch have proved they are champions of the game − whether it’s played indoors or outdoors.
Ella du Preez and Jordan Smithall, who enjoy a proud history of representing Western Australia at national outdoor tournaments, recently made a triumphant debut on the national indoor hockey stage.
The exciting South West Academy of Sport athletes donned the black and gold colours of WA when they competed at the Australian Indoor Hockey Festival in Goulburn earlier this month.
The festival, which ran for an action-packed four weeks between January 4 and 26, saw teams from around Australia compete for national titles across under-13, under-15, under-18, under-21 and open divisions, with the masters divisions having already competed in December.
Du Preez enjoyed the distinction of representing WA back-to-back in the under-15 and 18 championships, and was part of the under-18 team that clinched silver.
And to top it off, the 15-year-old Busselton talent was named player of the tournament for the under-15 division.
“I was actually pretty surprised to get it because there was a lot of quality players all throughout the teams,” Du Preez said.
“I guess I was just fortunate enough but a lot of other people could have got it.
“It was definitely one of my favourite tournaments to date. It was really fun and different. And I really got to know lots of people. And I also really enjoyed the hockey as well.”
The midfielder, who scored three goals in under-15s and two in under-18s, said she improved her game over the course of the tournament by developing a more attacking style of play.
Eaton young gun Smithall also enjoyed a successful stint at Veolia Arena, with his under-15 team bringing home bronze.
The defender said playing indoor hockey has improved his outdoor skills and he enjoyed playing alongside his peers on the national stage.
“I have played hockey in Perth previously with most of the team and knew them really well so it was pretty good to go away with them and be able to bring home the bronze medal,” Smithall said.