Facts about field hockey in Australia
Field hockey is a popular sport, enjoyed by children as young as six years old through to veterans aged 86 and over. Australia has two international hockey teams – the Hockeyroos and the Kookaburras – and their popularity and success has helped field hockey to become one of Australia’s most played amateur sports.
The Kookaburras (men’s national field hockey team) is one of Australia’s most successful elite-level sporting teams. With eight Olympic medals, seven World Cup medals and numerous other awards, the team is ranked number one in the world and is also the current holder of the World Cup. Coach Ric Charlesworth led both the Kookaburras and the Hockeyroos to multiple successes before retiring.
The Hockeyroos (women’s national field hockey team) is also one the country’s most successful teams, with three gold Olympic medals, two World Cups and three Commonwealth Games golds amongst its achievements.
Australia’s national field hockey league is the Australian Hockey League (AHL), which supports several grades of hockey. Players range from under 15s to veterans and specific country grades. Hockey Australia is a member of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and comprises membership from all eight territories/states.
Hockey is played in schools and youngsters are encouraged to excel in the sport. With plenty of field hockey drills and quality training available, competition is booming in Australia. Whether you are learning the basics or are playing at top level, resources such as Sportplan offer support to Australian field hockey teams with their drill videos. You may not always have field access to practise on; however, follow these videos to improve your stick skills and you will see your game soar to new levels.
In 2004, 333 clubs participated in the National Hockey Census. The results demonstrated that there was a 44 per cent to 56 per cent female to male ratio, making this a sport almost equally participated in by both genders. Results also showed that around 46 per cent of field hockey players participated through the winter season and a great majority of players were hockey club members.
Hockey is a sport that can be enjoyed by everyone in Australia, with the country continuing to support grassroots programmes to develop a constant stream of top quality players for the national teams.