by CHRIS GILMORE

Some of the biggest names in the world of hockey are set to line up for a special all-stars match as the Sunshine Coast Hockey Association launches its 2022 season.

Coast product and two-time Olympian Jodie Kenny, who is organising of the event, says the match on January 29 will be the showpiece event of the 2022 Hockey Expo.

“This is going to be a season-opening event where we will host a come-and-try session for children and adults of all ages, some junior games for current SCHA members, and to finish we will have an All Stars versus Sunny Coast match,” Jodie says. “This game will showcase some of the best players in Australian hockey such as former Olympians Liam de Young, Angie Lambert, Troy Elder and Mathew and Mel Wells. This year I will also be lacing up the boots and getting back on the pitch after having my second bub. 

“The event will host some wonderful opportunities to play and watch some great hockey, it is going to be a really enjoyable day.”

Jodie is expecting an exciting year for the sport on the Coast this year.

“At SCHA, we are really looking forward to the 2022 hockey season,” she says. “We introduced our new under-11s comp last year, which was a huge success, along with our Hookin2Hockey (under-7s and under-9s) competition on Friday nights, which packed out our turf and clubhouse with young kids and parents. 

“We also look forward to continuing to build our numbers and make our senior and junior competition stronger and more skilful in the coming season. Numbers are already rolling in for registrations for rep teams for the 2022 season, along with the search for coaches to support our junior players. We are looking to continually improve on our efforts and performances from the previous year.”

Jodie had a stellar international career from 2011-20, scoring 111 goals in 235 matches for the Hockeyroos. She won Commonwealth Games gold in Glasgow in 2014 and silver on the Gold Coast in 2018. In November she was inducted into the Sunshine Coast Sports Hall of Fame. She is now the Coast’s regional coaching director, passing on her wealth of knowledge of the game to younger generations.

“I am really enjoying the RCD role, it is certainly keeping me busy that is for sure,” she says. “I really love working with the SCHA rep players and helping push them to be the best they can be. I also really enjoy getting into schools and showing off how fun, safe and enjoyable hockey is.”

Jodie says the awarding of the 2032 Olympics to Brisbane could create some opportunities for young Coast hockey players.

“How exciting is the concept of having an Olympics in our backyard?” she says. “We have some amazing juniors on the Coast and I will be working hard to make sure that I give them every opportunity to be able to play in the Brisbane 2032 Games. The impact on local hockey will also be phenomenal – what a way to encourage people to get into an Olympic sport. The hype and lead-up to the Games is going to be such a buzz. Being only an hour from Brissy, hopefully we will see some elite players on the Sunny Coast.”

The Hockey Expo will be held at Ballinger Park, Buderim. Junior games will run from 1-4pm, with the all-s tars match to follow. For more details find Sunshine Coast Hockey on Facebook.

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