Three Argyll islanders have been selected to represent Scotland in the 2016 Masters Hockey World Cup in Newcastle, New South Wales in May 2016.
- Ernie Brittain-Dodd from Seil;
- Alan Parker from Mull;
- Dannie Onn from Colonsay.
All three are members of Oban Hockey club and members of Scotland LX Hockey club – set up to cater for the growing number of Hockey players that are still fit enough to play after the age of 60.
The trio will be winging their way to Australia supported by a motion of congratulations to the team tabled by local SNP MSP, Michael Russell, in the Scottish Parliament.
Mr Russell says: ‘Hockey is a particularly fast game now with stamina being a pre requisite of success. Masters Hockey requires not only fitness, but also the ability to adapt to the constraints of ageing. It is therefore, remarkable that these three Argyll islanders have made the grade and taken on the commitment.
‘All three make regular journeys to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stirling to take part in international training and are totally self-funded – including this ten day visit down under. I wish them every success and envy them their determination, fitness and stamina. I wish I had it.
‘In the Masters Worlds, players will be present from every continent. Scotland are drawn against Malaysia, Japan, England and Australia in the first rounds. England and Australia will be the two most difficult teams to beat but the team is confident of giving them all a very hard fought game.
The group could still do with some sponsorship so I would also encourage local businesses to offer them a bit of extra help and I would be happy to pass on their contact details to any potential donors. “.
The Scottish Parliament motion tabled by Michael Russell is as follows:
‘Motion S4M-15243: Michae l Russell, Argyll and Bute, Scottish National Party,
‘Scotland in the Grand Masters Hockey World Cup
‘That the Parliament looks forward to the involvement of the Scotland LX Team, which will compete in the Grand Masters Hockey World Cup in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, in May 2016; understands that the Scottish Grand Masters team finished in third place in the Pacific Rim Tournament in Kuala Lumpur, with an undefeated record and only narrowing missing out on a place in the final to the eventual winners, England, on goal difference, and commends the talent and determination of those whose enthusiasm for participation in hard fought competitive sport does not diminish with age.’
These are three people whose existing achievements and those to come are well worth sponsoring. Older people can feel rather demonised in a counntry where they predominate and where the constant focus is in the challenge to Argyll from its ageing population.
Here are three examples, whose fitness, spirit and thirst for challenge is actually an example to follow.
They are, as Mr Russell feels, to be envied as well as celebrated – and his offer to act as an intermediary for would be sponsors to make contact with the three gladiators is immediately helpful.