Stick­ing to­gether

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - YOUR GENERATION -

Martin Turner OU’RE never too old to pick up a stick, ac­cord­ing to Masters hockey cham­pion Alan Dick. While the game had its fair share of re­wards dur­ing his se­nior and ju­nior years, those re­wards have cer­tainly con­tin­ued for the ath­lete at a time many oth­ers would have long gone into re­tire­ment.

“Masters hockey al­lows play­ers to con­tinue play­ing the game they love well af­ter fin­ish­ing se­nior hockey,” Dick said.

“Masters hockey can be played as so­cial or as se­ri­ously as you wish. “The sky is the limit.” There have been few lim­i­ta­tions for the Royal Perth Hospi­tal bio­med­i­cal elec­tron­ics tech­ni­cian dur­ing his years at Masters level.

He cap­tained the over 50s side to a sil­ver medal in the World Cup in Can­berra ear­lier this year, at a tour­na­ment where he was named Player of the Se­ries. Wife Paula man­aged the side.

Medals and in­di­vid­ual hon­ours have been a con­stant through his rep­re­sen­ta­tive years, in­clud­ing gold and Player of the Se­ries ac­co­lades at the 2014 Masters World Cup in Rot­ter­dam, Hol­land and the 2015 O45 Trans Tas­man Chal­lenge in Mel­bourne. His mo­ti­va­tion re­mains as great as ever.

“I sup­pose I am very com­pet­i­tive and want to play the high­est stan­dard of hockey pos­si­ble for my age,” Dick said.

Y“The rea­son I play against 18-yearolds dur­ing the sea­son is so I have an edge against like-aged play­ers at na­tional and in­ter­na­tional level.”

Be­sides the hard work he puts in, pedi­gree might have added some­thing to that edge.

His fa­ther Ian Dick cap­tained the Aus­tralian hockey team at the 1956 Sum­mer Olympics in Mel­bourne, scor­ing Aus­tralia’s first goal in Olympic com­pe­ti­tion, and was in­ducted into the Hockey Aus­tralia Hall of Fame in 2008.

He also played one game of cricket for WA in Sh­effield Shield and is a life mem­ber of South Perth Cricket Club. He still holds the record for the high­est ag­gre­gate of runs in first grade (8803 runs).

Ian’s brother Alexan­der played cricket for WA and brother David played hockey for WA.

Alan was a State Un­der-17 and Un­der-21 player be­fore en­joy­ing a long stint in first grade for Melville City Hockey Club (1984) and Vic­to­ria Park Xavier Hockey Club (VPXHC) (1986-1999).

The rest of the fam­ily con­tin­ues the tra­di­tion. When Paula is not manag­ing the men at state and na­tional level, she plays se­nior hockey for VPXHC.

Son Mitchell plays 1st XI for Wes­ley, J11/12 and Premier Al­liance for VPXHC.

Daugh­ter Zoe plays J9/10 for VPXHC.

The fam­ily reg­u­larly trav­els to­gether to hockey tour­na­ments.

Dick has watched Masters hockey grow up fast.

“Since I started play­ing in 2006, I be­lieve the stan­dard of lo­cal, na­tional and in­ter­na­tional Masters has in­creased,” he said.

“This has been due to chang­ing con­cep­tions of what Masters hockey is. It is no longer just ‘Old Man Hockey’ but high-stan­dard, com­pet­i­tive hockey with some high-qual­ity, fit past-play­ers. I def­i­nitely see Masters evolv­ing.

“Af­ter 2016, I will have played in a Masters Na­tional Tour­na­ment in ev­ery state and ter­ri­tory in the coun­try.” His mes­sage to oth­ers is clear. “Hockey doesn’t end in your 30s,” Dick said. “If you want to stay fit and be in­volved in the best team sport, get in­volved in Masters hockey.”

Mitchell, Alan, Paula and Zoe Dick on tour in Far North Queens­land dur­ing the 2015 Aus­tralian Masters Hockey Cham­pi­onships. Alan Dick play­ing for WA. Masters over 50 Aus­tralian hockey cap­tain Alan Dick play­ing for his coun­try.

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