It may be getting colder and darker outside, but this doesn’t mean that the fun must stop, especially considering the 2017 Super 6s Championship kicks off this Sunday, January 29th! This is England’s big Indoor Field Hockey Championship between the top four teams in the Premier Division for both men and women. It’s a day long tournament played in the Wembley arena.
The indoor setting is action packed, high-paced, and high-scoring. You get to sit on the edge of a dry and warm seat – an added bonus. Spectators will be trading in their ponchos as England Hockey has promoted this to be a fancy dress event! For those of you not from England or otherwise not familiar with the term, ‘fancy dress’ is equivalent to a ‘themed costume’. Who will win the best-dressed prize?
If this doesn’t sound like a perfect way to spend this Sunday already, the Olympic Champions will be making appearances throughout the day. This is a chance to take pictures and talk hockey with Great Britain’s gold medalist women’s team.
And let’s not forget about the all the stars competing in these games that have played all across the globe. Take a look at the Canterbury Women’s Team, for example. More than 50% of the Green Army’s line-up have overseas playing experience.
Captain Sarah Kerly is Canterbury-born but has played three seasons in Australia, both in Sydney and Perth. She also played one season in the US for Syracuse University. She explains that playing abroad has helped her tremendously:
Each country has different styles of play – you have to learn to adapt to your surroundings in order to fully understand new routines/plays etc. I feel that I am a stronger, more well-rounded player than I have ever been due to the fact that I have learnt so many styles of play.”
Like Kerly, seven other members of this indoor squad have played abroad: Grace Balsdon (Canterbury born, played in the US for the University of Maryland and is currently a GB athlete), Tinesha Carey (Kiwi and has also played in Belgium), Natasha Del Borrello (Australian coming over from Perth), Victorine Vankemmel (French, coming back from the Jr. World Cup in Chile), Nina Steikowsky (German coming over from Hamburg), Lizzie Neal (Canterbury born, coming back from the Jr. World Cup in Chile). Last but not least, Canterbury is led by Coach Ed Welch, who has returned from Perth, Australia. He has gained his vast knowledge of hockey through playing in seven different countries.
Canterbury HC sounds like they’re ready to play on Sunday, and seal their spot in next year’s Indoor European Cup. The culmination of international experience and cross-border athleticism from teams like Canterbury makes for an exciting Super 6s Championship this weekend.
Tune in on Sunday to watch these players from all corners of the globe.
Good luck to all teams competing and a special shout out to my team last year, Canterbury!!