Canadian Underwater Hockey Nationals
Jump in – the water is fine! The Underwater Hockey Canadian National Championships are being held in Cornwall from May 25-27, 2012.
Over 100 athletes from up to 13 teams from across the country are expected to participate in this high-level competition, which is organized by the Canadian Underwater Games Association, in association with the Cornwall Underwater Hockey Club. Players of all ages will be in attendance as the National Championships are open to all players: juniors, men, women, and masters.
The Championships will be held at the NAV CENTRE, with additional games being held at the Cornwall Aquatic Centre.
“I am expecting a high level of competition from all across Canada for this tournament.” said Adam Jocksch, President of the Canadian Underwater Games Association. “The local organizers are doing an excellent job and everyone is looking forward to the Championships.”
Many players from across Canada will also be attending the Nationals to try and qualify for the Canadian National teams. The players who qualify for the National teams will move on to compete in the Americas Cup, an international event where teams from North and South American countries compete for the Cup (August 2012 in Milwaukee, WI). Some of these players who make the official Canadian teams will go on to participate in the World Championships which will be tentatively held in South Africa in 2013.
“I am pleased to welcome the athletes, coaches, officials and underwater hockey fans to Cornwall,” said Mayor Bob Kilger. “Cornwall is developing a great reputation for hosting athletic events of the highest calibre and I hope everybody enjoys our world-class facilities!”
About Underwater Hockey
Underwater hockey is a team sport played on the bottom of a swimming pool, by two teams of 12 players, each wearing snorkeling gear (i.e.: mask, fins, snorkel). Six players play at a time, with the others being substitutes. It is a high paced cardiovascular sport where players swim, pass and fake the opponent at the bottom of the pool. The object of the game is to put a lead-filled puck into the opposing team’s goal. The goals are located on the pool floor at each end. The puck is manoeuvred by a short stick held in one hand and can be passed to a team member by means of a flick of the wrist which can lift the puck and carry it considerable distances. Underwater hockey is a non-contact sport, with penalties assessed by referees for fouls such as grasping, holding or pushing an opponent.
What started as winter training for divers in England in 1954 has now become a worldwide sport in over 35 countries. Underwater hockey is practiced in most major cities across Canada from Halifax to Victoria to Yellowknife.
About the Cornwall Underwater Hockey Club
The Cornwall Underwater Hockey Club has been active in the sport of underwater hockey since the 1960s and is four time champions of the Canadian Nationals mixed division. The club is informally called “The Hammerheads” and plays twice weekly at the Cornwall Aquatic Centre. Notable senior members of the club are Ron MacDonald (one of the longest active players in Canada, since 1969), Véronique Séguin (member since 2006 of all Women Elite Teams), Darryl Brambilla (member of the 2006 Canadian Masters Team, UK and Canadian Chief Referee since 2007) and John Campbell (member of the 2006 Canadian Masters Team, UK) as well as many others players who have played for over 20 years. Cornwall continues to thrive in underwater hockey with male and female players currently training to be selected for the national teams. Learn more about the Club at www.SeawayValleyuwh.ca.
About the NAV CENTRE
Located on the scenic shores of the St. Lawrence River in Cornwall, the NAV CENTRE is a full service conference centre offering access to 560 guest rooms and 70 dedicated state-of-the-art meeting rooms. The Centre, which is owned and operated by NAV CANADA, can accommodate small groups of five to large groups of up 500. The NAV CENTRE is an accredited member of the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC), provided for adhering to globally-recognized standards in hospitality service. Learn more about the Centre at www.navcentre.ca.