Saturday, 22 December 2018

SA LADIES IN GOLD MEDAL TEAM AT CARDUMEN AGUAMALA 3X3 UNDERWATER HOCKEY WORLD CUP

A jubilant team.
Two members of the SA Elite Underwater Hockey Ladies Team were part of the "6 Beats, 1 Heart"  international team that won the ladies division at the 3X3 Underwater Hockey World Cup in Medellin, Colombia last week (10 to 16 December 2018)

They beat a team of 6 Colombian Elite National players in a hard fought match that ended in a draw and was decided by a golden goal
 
(Previous press releases regarding the 2018 Underwater Hockey World Championships at https://www.linkedin.com/in/zandrewitblitz/detail/recent-activity/posts/ )

In Underwater Hockey, the 3x3 format is like 7's rugby. The traditional format is 6 players on each side with the faster format sporting only 3 players on each side on a smaller court. This means that each team has 6 players with any 3 in the game at any time and effective constant substituting is part of a winning strategy.

The annual Cardumen Aguamala 3X3 Underwater Hockey tournament in Columbia is a highlight on the 3X3 underwater hockey calendar and the challenge is to put together a competitive team from the best players in the world and region.

The winning ladies team consisted of 2 SA Elite ladies players - Madeleine Rive (based in the USA) and Zandre Coetzee (from Pretoria (TUKS)) as well as Tyera Eulberg (USA, Worlds Captain), Maud Ginsbourger (France, Worlds Vice Captain), Tricia Simon (USA, Worlds player) and Elsa Debrunner (USA Worlds Player (and youngest in the team at 16)

Both Maddie and Zandre where members of the SA Elite Ladies Team that won the World Championship Gold in Stellenbosch in 2016 (in 2018 in Canada, they came 4th). Zandre is the youngest member of the SA Elite Ladies team and was also an U/19 World Champion in 2015 in Spain when SA beat New Zealand.

The ladies played a strong 3X3 tournament and won all their round robin matches. In the semi finals they won against a mixed Colombian side. In the finals against a team of the 6 best Colombian elite ladies it took a huge effort in the last 3 minutes of the game to come back from 3-1 at one stage and 4-2 down at halftime. The ladies scored a match tying goal in the final 30 seconds and then a sudden death goal by Zandre to win the Championships. The "6 Beats, 1 Heart" team even spent 1 minute with only 2 players when 1 was sent to the sinbin during the match.

It was a sweet victory for especially Madeleine and Zandre who lost the bronze medal against Colombia at the World Championships in July this year.

More on the 3x3 Tournament in Columbia at https://www.facebook.com/events/21 93102494291719/andhttps://www.face book.com/aguamalauwsports/ 

On the attached pictures is the "6 Beats, 1 Heart" international ladies team  and then Zandre with her gold medal and the team trophy. Also 1 of Zandre at the press conference held in Colombia.  I also include 2 pictures of the SA Elite Ladies team from Canada and an action shot of Zandre from Canada

In South Africa, the underwater hockey teams are currently preparing for the the SA Junior Championships in February and the SA Senior Championships in March. The U/19 and U/23 teams then prepare for the Junior World Championships in Sheffield in July 2019. Zandre is a member of the U/23 ladies team who are working hard to go and improve on their 2017 bronze. The U/19 Ladies also won bronze in 2017 (after gold in 2015) and both junior men's teams are hungry for a podium place in Sheffield after a few dry world championships.

The SA Elite and Masters Teams are preparing for the next senior world championships in Australia in July 2020. 

Because underwater hockey is a small "Cinderella sport", players have to fund their preparation for and trips to all tournaments themselves. As such they rely on donations, fundraising and sponsors.

To go to Columbia, Zandre was generously helped by a team mate as well as a fundraising effort by the members of her local CrossFit Box in Pretoria, Willow Way CrossFit. The CrossFit family at Willow Way really pulled together to help Zandre get to Columbia.

CrossFit has become a popular "conditioning sport" for many underwater hockey players around the world. To such and extent that some of them are starting to do well in CrossFit competitions in their regions. 

For their campaign at the World Championships in Canada in July 2018, the SA Elite Ladies received generous contributions from SpiderTech Tape, Defy, Shanahan Engineering and several small businesses, family members and supporters. . 

The SA Elite Underwater Hockey Ladies Facebook page is .at www.facebook.com/saeliteuwh/ and  SA Junior Underwater Hockey Federation page is at  https://www.facebook.com/sajuwhf/ 

Past and future press releases are loaded on Zandre Coetzee's LinkedIn page at https://www.linkedin.com/in/zandrewitblitz/

The SA underwater Hockey Federation website is at www.sauwhf.co.za

(this is not an official SA Underwater Hockey press release and is done in my private capacity as a underwater hockey fan and parent)

For more information on underwater hockey, contact me at 
De Wet Coetzee

#spidertech #stickittopain #defy #underwaterhockey #uwh #cardumen3x3 #sasport #proteas #proudlysa #aguamalauwsports #southafricansports #southafrica

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