Echuca-Moama Hockey Club hosted its inaugural training camp on the weekend.LUKE MCMANUS March 6, 2014 4:04am
Mick Gulson leads a group of juniors through their paces at Echuca-Moama Hockey Club’s inaugural training camp.
A focus on health and wellbeing was high on the agenda during Echuca-Moama Hockey Club’s inaugural training camp on the weekend.
As the club steps up its preparation ahead of the 2014 season, junior and senior members of the River Rats were put through their paces during two days of lectures, clinics and practice matches.
The camp was kicked off with a lecture, focusing on nutrition and hydration, with Kew Hockey Club guests joining the discussion.
Fronted by head coach and Echuca’s own Troy Williamson, Kew then took a group of junior River Rats for a full training session.
‘‘(The juniors) were able to get among the Kew players and join in on the same training drills,’’ organiser and Echuca-Moama coach Mick Gulson said.
‘‘To see the kids’ faces light up while running around with them was a highlight for me.’’
Sunday Echuca-Moama took on Kew and Bendigo-based club Strathdale in a series of friendly practice matches.
Players from each side took time in between games to help run junior clinics.
Despite unfavourable results, Gulson said the chance to play against accomplished teams such as Strathdale and Kew, the oldest hockey club in Australia, was extremely valuable in the lead-up to the new season.
‘‘We haven’t trained together at all yet which has been disappointing,’’ he said.
‘‘While the summer sports are still going, like tennis and cricket, its hard to get that crossover so players are still a bit preoccupied.
‘‘It was our first proper hit-out since last season and we’ll be better for it.
‘‘I think for the kids to see the skills from the Kew guys just opened their eyes.
‘‘It’s something they can aspire to and we’re rapt because most actually sat down and watched, which was great.’’
On top of the action on the field, lectures continued off the field, with experienced sports masseur Warren Lowry holding a discussion around the importance of stretching, warm-downs and body maintenance.
‘‘The idea behind that was purely for the kids’ benefit,’’ Gulson said.
‘‘It was about teaching them the importance of doing things outside of game time and training; what you should be doing during the week to help aid recovery.
‘‘It doesn’t matter what level you are. All those things are important and help you gain an extra 1 per cent on your opposition which could mean the difference.’’
With the assistance of Williamson, Gulson hopes the training camp can be a permanent fixture on Echuca-Moama Hockey Club’s calendar and help forge a strong relationship with Kew that could see the premier league play a home game in Echuca-Moama against another Melbourne-based club.
‘‘We want to develop and create opportunities to do this every year,’’ Gulson said.
‘‘For Kew to play a home game up here would be massive for us and will enable us to align our games around it as well.’’
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