A history of women’s hockey in Australia

Hockey is an extremely popular game in Australia. The national women’s team is called the Hockeyroos and has enjoyed great success, and the game has been enjoyed for well over a century by keen female players in Australia.


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Early History

The modern game of hockey originated in the UK and it’s from there that it made its way to Oz. It is worth noting, however, that 18th-century European settlers to Australia discovered Aboriginal people playing a game with long curved sticks and a ball. Modern hockey, however, began to be played at the very end of the 19th century in Australia.

Evidence suggests it was brought to Australia by two women known as the Waterhouse sisters, who had learnt the game whilst at Cheltenham College in the UK, and who introduced it to friends in Adelaide. Other early evidence comes from a request for permission to use the Cricket Ground in Malvern, Melbourne on July 19th, 1899. The Waterhouse sisters played for North Adelaide Ladies and helped progress the sport in South Australia whilst it also grew in other states.

In 1910 the first interstate tournament between New South Wales and South Australia was played and the Australian Women’s Hockey Association (AWHA) was formed at this time. The game had been growing in West Australia too, although they didn’t participate in an interstate tournament until 1921. What was once an amateur sport grew in seriousness with the help of training with field hockey drills like those found on https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Hockey/drills.jsp.

In 1941 the England ladies hockey team visited Sydney and New Zealand to start an inter-nation trend that continues to this day.

Field hockey was first played in the Olympic Games in 1908, but this was just for men. Women’s hockey didn’t get its first chance until 1980.

The Hockeyroos

The Hockeyroos are a successful hockey team, having enjoyed Olympic success on a number of occasions. They won gold at the 1988, 1996 and 2000 summer Olympics.

The women’s Hockey World Cup has been around since 1974. It has seen Australia win twice, in 1994 and 1998 and also come second in 1990, 2006, 2014 and third in 1983. The team’s success in these two competitions holds them as one of the top five ranking women hockey teams in the world.

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