CQ legends to pass wisdom
HOCKEY: Two of the greatest athletes Australia has produced will visit Gladstone on Monday, March 7.
Olympian hockey players and Rockhampton-born Mark Knowles and Jamie Dwyer will be conducting their 1&9 Coaching Clinic at the Rigby Park Hockey Fields from 4-8.30pm.
Both were members of the Australian Kookaburras' gold medal winning team at the 2004 Athens Olympics and played in respective 2008 and 2012 Beijing and London Olympic Games where the Kookaburras won successive bronze medals.
"The coaching sessions we run are a mix of individual skill development, competitions, having fun with the players, demonstrations by myself and Jamie and a Q and A session to finish," Knowles said.
"These clinics are for a wide range of player age and level, so it's a mix that can be enjoyed by all."
The likes of Gladstone products Rhiannon Baxter, Josh Baxter, Ronan McGuire, Morgan and Lindsay Mathison have all made either junior states and national country teams and Knowles said that is proof that Queensland has the best environment in nurturing talent.
"The standard is good and we've (Queensland) always have been a power in national tournaments," Knowles said.
"Over the years, we have coached and seen numerous kids come through the ranks.
"The biggest improvement we see is more turfs which means more players practising their skills."
Knowles said he and Dwyer will never forget where they have come from.
"Growing up in the country was a huge advantage for Jamie and I and we have always been proud of our country roots," he said.
"The ability to play with our mates, have amazing weather for most of year and be able to play up in age levels were big advantages in our development.
"Never would we have dreamt growing up in Rockhampton that we could go to four Olympics with gold and two bronze medals, win two World Cups, three Commonwealth Games gold medals and play for our country 356 and 294 times respectively."
WHEN: Monday, March 7
WHERE: Rigby Park Hockey Fields
TIME: 4-8.30pm; 4-6pm for 9-13 year olds; 6.30-8.30pm 14-18 year olds and open age group
COST: $50 per participant