All the news for Monday 30 November 2020
Change at the top of Scottish North Conference
There were two winners in the North Conference, Gordonians men and women both took over pole position in their respective leagues, while the frost cancelled the other two scheduled fixtures.
Gordonians men leapt into pole position with an 8-1 win over Aberdeen GS at Rubislaw, they are now on the same points as Granite City Wanderers, with a slender single goal advantage and a game still outstanding.
The first half was fairly even, Robbie Wallis and Leon Wilkie scored for Gordonians with Fin Renton replying for Aberdeen for a narrow 2-1 score. But the visitors opened the floodgates in the second half, Will Serle scored twice and there were also goals for Harry Legget, Peter Serle, James Dick and Ciaran Mackland.
Gordonians John Hamilton said: “We were really pleased with the performance of some new additions to the team including several under-18 players who have been excellent during the North Conference.”
The conditions at Countesswells was considered frosty and so also was Gordonians reception for visitors Aberdeen University as the home side ran up a five goal victory. The prime feature was that 15-year-old Anna Warnock continued her recent scoring spree with another double against the students.
Gordonians opener in the first quarter was a piece of brilliance, Katy McLeod ran from her own half pitch on a solo run and finished the move by slotting the ball into the net.
The home side were three up by the interval, open play strikes from Alice Pridham and Warnock effectively ended the game as a contest. Two more were added in the second half, captain Rebecca Murray netted from a penalty corner while Warnock completed the tally from the spot.
After the game Murray added: “A good game for us again, it`s great to see the team progressing week after week.”
The result means that Gordonians top the women`s table on goal difference from Ellon, and also have the advantage of a game less played. Ellon`s game with Granite City Wanderers was frozen out.
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Injury forces Hockeyroo Karri McMahon to end career
Veteran Hockeyroos defender Karri McMahon has called a premature end to her international playing career due to a chronic knee injury.
Despite being involved in the recent selection camp, results of scans last week led medical specialists to inform her of the potential of long term issues if she continued to compete at the highest level.
The 28 year old Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Olympian has announced her retirement from international hockey after 153 appearances and nine years in the Hockeyroos setup.
"It is with a heavy heart that I have made the decision to retire from the Hockeyroos following an injury which would have ruled me out of contention for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo,” said McMahon.
“The past week has been a rollercoaster of emotions following some unfortunate scan results. Medical advice has indicated my body is unable to safely continue playing at the elite level required to reach the Olympics without potential significant complications for my life after hockey.
“It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to have been part of the Hockeyroos over the last nine years and it has brought me so many wonderful friendships and priceless memories throughout the journey.”
“I want to thank all of the people who had a hand in my career as a Hockeyroo. To my parents, family, partner, coaches, support staff, sponsors, Hockey Australia and most importantly, all of the amazing women I have taken the field with and called my teammates…I am truly grateful to them all."
A qualified paramedic who twice received the Executive Deans Award for Academic Excellence at Charles Sturt University, McMahon’s focus will now turn to the next off field chapter of her life.
“I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity within the program to develop so many invaluable skills which have helped me grow, as not just a hockey player but as a person,” said McMahon.
“While there are a great many things that I will miss about being part of the Hockeyroos, I am really excited to dive into all of the exciting new adventures that come next for me and getting the chance to spend some quality time with my family and friends.
“I wish all of the girls the best of luck in the upcoming selections, preparations and Games themselves, and I will be eagerly supporting them all the way."
McMahon leaves the Hockeyroos with medals at Commonwealth Games, World Cups and Champions Trophies.
Head Coach Paul Gaudoin paid credit to her resilience and determination over close to decade.
“Karri has been an absolute pleasure to coach. She has had to deal with some tough injury concerns but has always worked hard to be in the best condition she could be in,” said Hockeyroos Head Coach Paul Gaudoin.
“She always wanted to and was open to ways of how she could improve her game right up until the last games she played at this selection camp, which was so pleasing to see.”
“It’s massively disappointing for her to have had to make this decision, but I know she will be successful in anything she chooses to do in the future.”
Hockey Australia High Performance Director Toni Cumpston congratulated McMahon on an amazing Hockeyroos career.
“To represent your country is very special, to have done so over 150 times is outstanding,” said Cumpston.
“Karri has been a wonderful ambassador for our sport and shown great resilience over the last three years to be able to continue to perform at the highest level.”
“She worked incredibly hard to maintain the high standards required of an elite athlete whilst continuing to build her career outside of sport, and this is true testament to her.
“I wish Karri the very best for the future and I am sure she will be as successful in her off field exploits as she has been as a member of the Australian Women’s hockey team.”
The Karri McMahon File
DOB: 27 February 1992
Place of Birth: Berri, South Australia
Playing Number: 11
Hockeyroos appearances (goals): 153 (10)
Hockeyroos Cap Number: 462
Hockeyroos Debut: 23 September 2012 v Ireland
2014 Commonwealth Games Gold Medal
2014 World Cup Silver Medal
2014 Champions Trophy Silver Medal
2018 Commonwealth Games Silver Medal
2018 Champions Trophy Silver Medal
2019 FIH Pro League Silver medal
Olympic Games 2016
Commonwealth Games 2014, 2018
World Cup 2014, 2018
World League 2013, 2015
Champions Trophy 2014, 2016, 2018
Oceania Cup 2011, 2013, 2015, 2019
FIH Pro League 2019, 2020
Instagram: @karrileemcmahon Twitter: @KarriMcMahon
Hockey Australia media release
Sarah Jones and Leah Wilkinson on home and work life balance
By Tom Harle
Timing is everything and Leah Wilkinson says she’s delighted her teaching sabbatical has been extended to allow her to chase a spot on Team GB’s women’s hockey squad at next year’s rearranged Olympic Games.
The defender took a year out from her role as a head of Year 10 and a history teacher at Ewell Castle School in Epsom to pursue a place in the 14-strong squad for the Games.
When the Olympics were postponed Wilkinson had to fall at the feet of her employer and to her relief was granted a year-long extension to her sabbatical – meaning it’s still all go for Tokyo. “I’ve had to take a backward step this year in terms of career prospects, but I wouldn’t change it for the world,” said the 31-year-old.
“When I heard the Games were postponed, part of me was devastated with the fear of it not going ahead at all and uncertainty about having to go back to work. But now the new Tokyo dates are there and thanks to my school being incredible, I’ve got the chance to play and train full-time for another year, it’s pretty great.
“I’m probably going to be a teacher for the next 30 years, so I’m feeling quite smug about having another year of playing the sport I love! To be a part of Team GB would be incredible – it’s not just the medals they’ve won, it’s the fact that there are so many people who have represented them who are role models to me.”
Wilkinson holds the accolade of the most capped sportsperson in Wales, qualifying through her Swansea-born mother and wearing red in no fewer than 169 international games. The Burton-born ace only made her Great Britain debut against India in October 2019, rewarding a 15-year career at the highest level, and she has featured nine times since then. “The Olympics wasn’t something I thought would happen after all that time playing for Wales,” she said.
“Going to Tokyo would be the cherry on top to my international career – I’d be incredibly fortunate to get the chance to go. It means a lot for any sportsperson to go.”
Wilkinson missed out on Great Britain’s Pro League tour of Europe last month as they won six points from a possible 12 in games against world champions Netherlands and Belgium. A foot injury kept her on the sidelines for ten weeks and watching her team-mates from the comfort of her sofa was an almost equally painful experience.
“It was pretty devastating, because I’m coming to the end of my professional career and every game is an amazing opportunity,” said Wilkinson.
“I really missed it and found it a struggle at times to watch, because you do feel like you’re missing out with something you can’t control. Hopefully we’ll be able to play plenty of games in the next year.”
It was doubly tough for Wilkinson to watch on last month because her partner Sarah Jones was one of the travelling party.
The pair met while playing for Wales and have been together for seven years, buying a house together near Wilkinson’s school which, after several happy years, they are currently selling through Purplebricks.
Wilkinson admits it took time to get used to seeing the same face at training and at the kitchen table – but there’s never been a paint roller raised in anger. “We haven’t always been great at keeping home and hockey separate,” she admitted. “These things take time to differentiate and now it’s just nice to come back to our shared home and be able to relax in our surroundings.”
Training camps for hockey teams likely in second week of December
KARACHI: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) is planning to organise training camps for the Pakistan senior and junior teams in the second week of December, 'The News' has learnt.
The camps will be held ahead of the planned twelve-match series between Pakistan Whites and Pakistan Junior sides.
According to a source, the training camps will be held at the National Hockey stadium in Lahore, where good training facilities and hostel rooms are available for players.
He said that federation is also interested in organising the four matches allotted to Punjab in small towns and cities in order to promote hockey at the grass root level. It will also utilise the newly-laid astro turfs in cities like Gojra, Jhang, Okara, Pak Patan, D.G. Khan, Qusoor, Shahkot where stadiums also have the facilities of floodlights.
Travelling from Lahore to these small towns and cities will also not be a big issue as most of them are connected to the motorway, he hoped.
He said that four matches after the training camps are likely to be held at the end of December or in the first week of January, adding that the PHF is also keeping an eye on the Covid-19 situation.
The second and third phase of the training camps will be held in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after the conclusion of the first phase in Punjab.
The teams are playing the series as part of the preparations for the Junior Asia Cup to be held in Bangladesh, as well as the Asian Hockey Championship 2021 in March.
The schedule of Junior Asia Cup 2021 is yet to be announced by the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF).
The News International
Barbados breaks ground for construction of Hockey Pavilion
Sandra Osborne (left), President of the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA), breaking the ground for the construction as Jacqueline Gill, Executive Officer of the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC); Mark St. Hill, President of the Barbados Hockey Federation (BHF); Sir Austin Sealy, IOC member; and Yolande Howard, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports, look on. (Photo: The Barbados Advocate)
Phase 2 of the development of the Barbados Hockey Centre at Wildey broke ground yesterday, thanks to the partnership with the Barbados Olympic Association Inc. (BOA), the Barbados Hockey Federation and the Barbados Tourism Development Corporation.
President of the BOA, Sandra Osborne, broke the ground for the multi-purpose pavilion, which is set to have changing rooms, showers, storage room, technical operations room, natch areas, penalty areas and an upper level which will have a media deck, an office area and covered seating for 100 people.
Over the next six months, the construction will be done on the eastern end of the Centre.
Osborne, in her welcome address, made note that the full range of the BOA’s work is unknown by many, so she welcomed every opportunity to demonstrate some of the many facets of the BOA.
“Some see us as just funding athletes and fielding teams to multi-sport competitions every couple of years. Although these are important functions, we also play a vital role in funding national federations in a country which lacks serious private sector support of most of our sports. Our mandate to promote Sport in Barbados is multi-faceted, requiring us, among other avenues, to finance the growth, sustainability and proliferation of Sport on the island by leveraging relationships through our international affiliations to access funding that is available for infrastructural development,” she said.
Osborne thanked her predecessor, Steve Stoute, who negotiated with Pan Am Sports the phase one funding. This organisation is again on board as she explained that 66 per cent of the total cost of the Centre across the two phases was contributed by Pan Am Sports and the BOA combined, which amounted to about three-quarters of a million dollars.
Other contributors include the National Sports Council (13% towards the total cost of the Centre through a contribution to phase one), the International Hockey Federation (12% towards the total cost of the Centre for phase one; and the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC), which contributed to both phases, making a total contribution of 9% of the total cost to date. This represents a total investment of $1.124 million in field hockey in Barbados.
President of the Barbados Hockey Federation, Mark St. Hill, thanked all parties involved for their contribution in making the dream of the hockey fraternity come through with the construction of a modern facility that could host international competitions.
“Our new pavilion will not only position us to provide modern facilities for our players, officials and spectators, but will also enhance our ability to stage major games such as our Barbados Hockey Festival – a major contributor to the island’s sports tourism product. With the completion of the Centre, we would also be able to host international competitions and attract more touring teams to the island each year. This is a major development for our beloved sport,” said St. Hill.
Other speakers included Chairman of the TDC, Martin Ince and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Community Empowerment, Yolande Howard, both of whom endorsed the value of sport to human and social development and the development of Barbados’ tourism product. In addition, Howard called for Barbadians to see sports as a viable career option. She said that sport has not been given the level of support it needed in the past to promote success, but that her ministry is looking at how it can change these states of affairs going forward by developing a sport industry.
Pan American Hockey Federation media release