Thursday, October 19, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
At the end of September, the Mackay Mustangs Roller Hockey Club Under 16’s team won gold in Perth, competing fiercely in Roller Hockey Australia’s National Australian Club Championships.
The National Australian Club Championships ran from 23rd to 30th September, this year taking place in Kwinana, with some of Australia’s most talented roller hockey teams competing.
Mackay Mustangs Roller Hockey Club was founded in 1985 as a branch of the Mackay Roller Sports Association. The club has had a number of homes over the years and suffered a major split during the early 2000's.
Over the preceding years, this led to a decline in attendees and ultimately, the collapse of the break-off club. In 2018, Mustangs was revived with ‘learn to skate’ lessons and has been growing ever since.
With current trainers Lyle Denham and Amanda Mulherin having both represented Australia at the World Roller Hockey Games, the Under 16’s have a wealth of knowledge about their beloved sport right at their fingertips.
At the Championships, there were five other clubs represented alongside the Mustangs. The Mackay team of seven (six skaters and one goalkeeper) had their final game against Mordialloc, a club from East Melbourne.
During the competition, they played Mordialloc multiple times, all nail bitingly close games.
The result in the finals was 6-0 to the Mustangs, forming an epically-established rivalry between the two clubs.
The trip to Perth was one that the Under 16’s won’t forget, with trainer Lyle commenting, “The trip was amazing for the team, the kids will be lifelong friends after an experience like that.”
A big highlight besides bringing home the gold, was a chance to train with a legend in the roller hockey community, Pablo Cairo, Olympic gold medallist and World Champion for Argentina, both as a player and a coach.
Pablo was at the competition as an honoured guest, and the Mustangs having the opportunity to train under him is a privilege very few roller hockey players get to experience.
This may be a small club, but they have a BIG passion for their sport, and are always welcoming new members.
For those interested in roller hockey, ‘learn to skate’ lessons and training is from 4pm every Thursday, at the Mackay Leisure Centre during school term.
To get involved in roller hockey classes, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
The Mackay Mustangs Under 16’s team take home the gold – Photo supplied