The City of Sheffield and the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre are ready to welcome teams from across the globe; Canada, Argentina, Columbia, NZ, SA, Turkey as well as a host of European nations too, for the Under 24 and Under 19’s World Championship competition.

Euro Options is proud to be the main sponsor

Euro Options is proud to be the main sponsor of both the 2019 Age Group World Championships and the BOA (British Octopush Association), the latter of which oversees over 100 clubs up and down the country, from Jersey to the Shetland isles and everywhere in between.

The Opening Ceremony at Sheffield City Hall will start from 6pm on August 14th and play starts on the 16th with the first round-robin.

Haven’t heard of underwater hockey? It’s a sport introduced to us by our commercial manager, Ian Tait, who has managed the team for the last five years, whilst Mick Hyde, a dedicated member of our purchasing department, coaches the Under 19’s team as well as his local team, Rochdale Underwater Hockey.

Team GB’s Pre-selection squad

Like many sports, the best players start young, with some of the current Team GB learning the ropes as young as eight years old.

“We look to start training them at 13 with a long-term aim of them being ready to play internationally by the time they are 17. Of course, at this time young athletes are going through some of the most stressful times of their lives; being teenagers, exams and everything else. It is a considerable commitment, training for the GB Squad, that they take on.”
Mick Hyde, U19 Lead Coach

At international level, there’s a two-year cycle between World Championships, which frequently means that the best upcoming players train through two full cycles before being selected. Training camps are held every four to six months for the squad and more frequently in the run up to the Championship, as they work to increase their strength and endurance.

In terms of the principles, the sport is simple enough; players hold a small curved stick (about the size of a spatula) in a gloved hand and with it, work to push the 1.2 kilogramme puck into the opposing team’s goal. The goal consists of a three-metre tray at opposite ends of a 25-metre pool.

Now, this is where the skill comes in – the snorkels aren’t connected to a scuba tank, so the players must hold their breath as they scramble and battle with their opponents for position under the water.

“It’s like sprinting 100m but holding your breath at the same time. The GB team narrowly missed out on a Gold in 2017, when France just tipped us in the final, but we’re focussed on getting back into the medals this year and bring some metal home!”
said Team GB’s U19 and U24 Manager, Ian Tait.

Anyone interested is welcome to check out the World Championship website for more information on all the teams. Members of the public are welcome attend the opening ceremony on Wednesday and spectate throughout the week to ‘soak in’ all the action.

If that doesn’t whet your whistle enough, you can find your local club by checking out the BOA’s website.

In the meantime, join us in wishing Ian, Mick and Team GB, the best of luck for the Championship!

Locate a product

Quickly search our stock list using our product locator tool below:
Share This