Students selected for Underwater Hockey World Championships

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Students selected for Underwater Hockey World Championships

Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School students Annika Keall and Samantha Blackham have been selected in the Australian under 19 team for the CMAS Underwater Hockey Junior World Championships in July.

Both Annika, Year 11, and Samantha, Year 10, said they were very excited to represent Australia.

“There’s a lot of training involved… we train six times a week. If we’re not fit, it’s like we let the team down,” Samantha said.

“It’s been hard to balance studying and exams with training, but it’s definitely paid off,” Annika said.

Samantha has been playing Underwater Hockey for six years and Annika has been playing competitively for three. Both girls attribute their interest in the sport to their families’ diving background.

“I got into it with Dad. We used to do a lot of free diving and we wanted to improve our breath hold,” Annika said.

The girls will receive their Australia uniforms this weekend when they train with the entire team for the last time before the Championships. They will undergo a fitness test including an underwater beep test.

The Championships will run from 15 to 23 July with nations such as USA, Canada, Columbia, France, New Zealand and the UK competing in the event.

Underwater Hockey will be debuted as an Olympic sport at the 2024 Summer Olympics.