Ladies Nationals, one of the UK’s toughest Underwater Hockey tournaments, took place in Leeds in the final weekend of October, with Warwick University being one of only two university teams to enter the competition. Warwick University Sub Aqua Club are proud to have entered their first all-female team into the tournament, which was marked great achievement for the club, and a step to support the ‘Warwick Girls Can’ campaign.
Underwater hockey is an intense sport, played on the floor of a swimming pool with a weighted puck between two teams of up to 10 players, with 6 players from each team playing at any time. The biggest challenge of the sport is definitely having to hold your breath while playing. You’re provided with just a snorkel to aid in breathing, which limits the time you can spend at the bottom of the pool, where all the action happens. Games last up to 30 minutes and therefore teamwork is essential throughout.
“The biggest challenge of the sport is definitely having to hold your breath”
Lara, one of our newer members said, “As someone who had been a swimmer for a while before coming to university, I was super interested when I heard about this sport played underwater, so I gave it a go and loved it. It’s amazing that just a year later I got to compete with my team in Ladies Nationals!”
Earlier this year, the Warwick University first team consisting of both male and female players, won the silver medal at the Student Nationals Tournament in Stirling. This was a fantastic achievement by the team, which has finished in a medal-winning position 5 out of 6 times since 2015. This shows the calibre of our players and the recruitment of new members into the club, allowing us to retain such a successful record.
“The club saw a great opportunity to develop our female players by participating in the UK Ladies Nationals”
By having such a strong attendance throughout the year, the club saw a great opportunity to develop our female players by participating in the UK Ladies Nationals in October 2018. It was a tough day as we were only a team of 7 but the team persevered. As the day went on, improvements were made both as individuals and as a team, rounding out what was a fun day overall. Although no matches were won, the team was not deterred and hopes to enter the tournament again next year, coming back stronger and better.
The president of the club, Megan, stated “I am very proud of our girls for their hard work and perseverance over the last year and I am very confident that we are going to continue to achieve great things as Warwick’s first female Underwater Hockey Team.”
“I am very proud of our girls for their hard work and perseverance over the last year”
This was a huge challenge for our ladies, most of whom only started playing underwater hockey a year ago upon arriving at university. To participate at such a high level requires grit and determination which embodies our Warwick girls and this was an invaluable experience for every member of the team. They were supported from all the players in the club and we are all rooting for the ladies in all their future competitions.