Discipline and flexibility
When Simon describes the team’s underwater hockey training schedule it’s clear there is also a level of discipline and flexibility required to manage a full-time job at ANZ with the demands of representing your country in a regional competition such as the SEA Games.
“We’re not full-time athletes given we have full-time jobs,” says Simon. “As it’s not a spectator sport, you are essentially paying to be a full-time sportsman rather than the other way around. So a lot of people play for the sheer enjoyment it.”
Simon says the team’s training schedule varies from week to week. They will generally train in the morning, at night and on weekends to fit the sessions in around working hours.
“If we’re struggling for time, we usually have to wake up early and have two sessions in a day,” he explains.
Simon says training sessions are quite cyclical depending on the certain parts of the game they are trying to develop (e.g. endurance, speed etc.). A typical training schedule would include nine to 11 sessions per week.
Singapore for the clean sweep
When asked what it felt like to take out all four of the gold medals on offer at the games, Simon says simply it was “surreal”.
“I never thought I would be representing a country in this particular sport. So it was an indescribable experience.”
He adds “I guess in hindsight it was fantastic. That is, in terms of the preparation and the entire journey with my teammates leading up to [the games]”.
“As for the actual games themselves, well, I can’t describe it as being fun at the time,” he says with a laugh. “It was more nerve-racking than anything but I guess we trusted the process. Our coach kept reminding us ‘Just have fun. We’ve trained hard for this.
Just let it flow because the more nervous you are, the more mistakes you’ll make.”
And then the results came out.
“We were ecstatic. Yes, I was very happy about that.”
Melissa Currie is Creative Content Producer, ANZ News