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.