Geelong Underwater Hockey Inc. (Incorporation No. A0054100W)
Where did the sport come from?
In 1954 the Southsea Sub-aqua club in Portsmouth, England invented the game to members active, fit and engaged over the winter when it was too cold to dive. Originally called “Octo-push” because it had 8 players per team who used a small stick called a pusher, it is still known by this name in the UK.
For more details checkout the wikipedia article.
Geelong club history
Geelong Underwater Hockey (UWH) was formed in the late 1970s by several Geelong-based SCUBA clubs, including the Geelong Sub-Aqua club, the Torquay Turtles, Da Buoys and others.
As with other UWH leagues, the stimulus for its formation was the need for an off-season or dirty weather activity to maintain fitness and contacts for the sports of SCUBA diving, wreck diving and spearfishing.
Early, active committee members, movers and shakers included; Toby Stewart, the Backwell boys, Brendan and Wesley, Liz and Gerd Worpel, Neil Judd, Denise Rogulskyz, Bill Marshall, Roger Langham, Barry Hunt and many more.
By 1985, the League was maintaining 12 teams, 6 in an A grade and 6 in a B Grade. We had 2 training sessions per week (Thursday for the Sub Aqua teams and Sunday for Da Buoys) and a competition night on Wednesday at Norlane Waterworld.
The Geelong teams were competitive in the State Competitions held at the freezing cold, razor-bottomed State swim centre on Batman Avenue, Melbourne where grout between the tiles was a wasteful luxury.
By the mid-80s the adults were drifting off to triathlon, grand-parenting or golf but thanks to the teachers and parents among us we had a growing crew of juniors who were starting to win competitions.
By 1997 the Geelong Juniors had combined with the Wonthaggi Juniors to form a crack team that won the National titles in Canberra. Geelong players included, Rob Crittenden, Andrew Napier, Katherine Napier, Gareth Kent and Brian Cook. In more recent years junior players Russell George, Kayla Gates, Natalia Joordens, Felicity Backwell and Michael Richards have all represented Victoria in National Competitions. Our juniors continue to compete at the national titles and indeed one of our juniors is team captain for the Victorian 2022 team.
Geelong Underwater Hockey continues to serve the community of people who enjoy competitive but casual water sports. We are keen to introduce people to our chosen sport. We have been successful at attracting grants from federal, state and local governments. We provide a fully-equipped coaching service to schools and we have an underwater camera to document the experience for new players.