Octopush celebration

Batley Sports and Tennis Centre hosted an Under-16 Octopush (underwater hockey) tournament last Saturday as part of the Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL) games.

Friday, 8th June 2012, 12:30 pm

Teams travelled from Teignmouth and Dawlish in the South West plus Manchester and Rochdale to take part while the hosts fielded two teams.

The game involves teams of 10 players wearing a mask, fins and snorkel holding their breath and pushing a puck towards the gullies at either end of the swimming pool.

Octopush has never been accepted as an Olympic sport despite the fact it is played in more than 20 countries and holds European and World Championships every two years. Many players who have trained at Batley have represented Great Britain.

It proved an excellent event with the winners Teignmouth while second were Dawlish.

There was nothing between the two Batley teams however and after drawing 2-2 the Batley Tigers and Batley Dragons were awarded joint third place. In fifth were Xarifa Tykes while the Xarifa Titans (both from Manchester) were sixth. Rochdale finisihed seventh. Players in the top three teams received a KAL games medal while players who were voted as player of their team were awarded a special prize supported by Divers Warehouse, Bradford.

After the event two extra games were played. Batley Under-13s beat Manchester 3-0 and the match between the North and South Under-16s was a draw. Batley are very hopeful of doing well in the National Championships in Plymouth later this month.

Senior teams, including Batley, Dewsbury and Huddersfield, will compete in another KAL games event next week. The organisers would like to thank Kirklees Active Leisure for supporting the sport. Anyone interested in having a go at underwater hockey, adult or junior, can call Batley Sports and Tennis Centre (01924 326181).