The next generation of Australian hockey stars will take to the pitch over the next two weekends in the Future Thundersticks Classic at Perth Hockey Stadium.
Starting on Sunday and running over two days next weekend, WA’s most talented young hockey players will get their chance to shine in a tournament format like Hockey WA’s Ric Charlesworth Classic after the National Championships were delayed because of COVID-19.
The tournament will feature four male and four female teams made up of Hockey WA’s Under-13s State teams and teams from the Perth Thundersticks 14s Academy.
The Breakers, Highlanders as well as the State Teams traditional monikers of the Storm and Lightning will do battle in the bumper tournament which will be streamed live at thewest.com.au.
Former Hockeyroo and five-time Australian champion with the WA Diamonds Shayni Nelson, whose 12-year-old son Max will play for Lightning, said the tournament was significant because of the lack of national championships in the past two years.
“It is good for them to understand how to prepare for a championship or competition at this level and what it looks like,” she said.
“There are some great players out there in the boys and girls competition. It’s a big pool of talent at the moment, but then as they get older it becomes more difficult to get in.
“It will teach them about food intake and staying hydrated, stuff that on a normal weekend they do not think about. It’s great to give everyone an opportunity at that level.
“The fact that WA, we’ve had an uninterrupted club season for the last two years, will hopefully put us in good stead when we get back into national competitions next year.
“Our kids have been playing in their normal fixtures and go to these training sessions, so I’m hoping we might do really well next year as a state.”