J & E Miller Builders Salesman Russell Clucas is getting psyched up to attend the Grand Masters Hockey World Cup 2012 to be held at Oxford, England in August. Chrissy Jones found out more …
What is the event, where and when will it be held?
In this Olympic/Paralympic year, the inaugural FIH Masters Hockey World Cup takes place in England from 14 – 24 August 2012. The tournament will be held at Polo Farm, Canterbury Hockey Club. The tournament will involve teams from all over the world, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore and the USA, as well as a strong representation from European countries, including all the home nations.
This event is for hockey players representing their country who are aged 60 years and over (split into age categories of: Grand Masters – Over 60; Great Grand Masters – Over 65; and Senior Grand Masters – Over 70) and is organised through the auspices of the World Grand Masters Association (WGMA). It is held every two years, and every fourth year the aim is to hold it in the same country as the Olympic Games.
In 2012, the Olympics are, of course, being held in London, and Oxford Hawks Hockey Club of Oxford are acting as hosts for this event. During the same ten days, the inaugural Masters Hockey World Cup for women Over 35, Over 40, Over 45 and Over 50 and Men Over 40, Over 45, Over 50 and Over 55 will be held at Polo Farm, Canterbury.
What position do you play, Russell? Do you have a training regime?
Mid field, either as an inside forward or centre half – one of the workers! We have been given a variety of training methods that all team members use to keep fit for the competition. Motivation isn’t a problem; we are all very keen to compete in the Cup and want to be adequately fit for the tournament. Training consists of a mix of running and jogging, and interval training, gym work – cardio and weight sessions for around an hour at a time, 30 minutes cardio plus 30 minutes weights. Club training and social get togethers to hone our skills round out the preparation.
Your preparation programme and itinerary sounds pretty full on; tell us about that …
I commenced my fitness training in February and had a team training camp in Melbourne on March 3 and 4. From April to July we had training and competition matches to help with the game fitness levels.
August 5 will see me depart for Dubai, with a stop over there for two days and a match at the new hockey stadium against an International team. From 8 – 25 August I will be in Oxford, London, competing in the World Cup. We will have a few training matches against Wales at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff and Oxford Hawks.
The World Cup Draw has us up against some stiff competition, many with a European flavour. Japan is providing the only Asian influence in our pool – which is pool A. We will face very tough opposition in the matches against Germany and The Netherlands, and we know that we should not underestimate the defensive strength (and ability to attack swiftly) of the canny Scots.
England and New Zealand are the top seeds in the second pool and are our most likely semi-final opponents. The Italians, Welsh and South Africans are the other teams in pool B. We do have a couple of rest days in amongst the hockey, where I hope to have some memorable sightseeing adventures with my wife, Kim.
Thanks Russell, and good luck at the Grand Masters Hockey world Cup!
This story was published in issue 81 of the Greater Port Macquarie Focus