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Cpl Bill Solomou
SEVERAL personnel from the
women’s and men’s NSW hockey
teams have been rewarded with a
spot in the ADF hockey side after
both teams took out the recent
ADF Hockey Championship
tournament in Sydney.
The NSW women’s team didn’t
lose a game coming into the final.
In fact, they conceded only one goal
throughout the tournament.
ADF women’s coach PO Dan
Knapp said the team continued with
its great form into the final, winning
5-0 against the “Rest of Australia”
“Strong teamwork and efficient
ball movement was the underpin-
ning factor that lead to the win,” PO
Pte Ellen Seaniger, Leut
Christie Underwood and Pte
Amanda Hoddinott were influen-
tial in the win. All three women
have been selected to play against
the nation’s best at the Australian
Country Championships (ACC) in
Townsville from August 11-19.
Pte Seaniger was co-captain of
the NSW team and said the players
worked well as a group.
“By the end of the week, we
were playing really good hockey,”
Pte Seaniger said.
The men’s NSW combined
service hockey team was a favourite
to take out the tournament and did
so in commanding fashion in the
final, winning 5-0 against Qld.
ADF men’s hockey coach CPO
Craig Downey said NSW captain
WO Will McConnell provided
exemplary leadership throughout
“He was supported by a sound
mix of youth and experience in his
side,” CPO Downey said.
LCpl Nick Waters was recog-
nised for his strong performance
on the field as men’s player of the
tournament and was selected in the
“This year will mark my fourth
year on the ADF team,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to see
how our strengthened team goes
this year. We were second last year,
which made us the first men’s ADF
hockey team in 10 years to make a
final and, with a few talented rook-
ies coming through this year, it will
be interesting to see how we go.
“We are looking to go one better
Cpl Gareth Hoddinott has been
appointed team captain for the com-
ing ACC tournament in Townsville.
He said this was his 10th year
of attending the ACC with the ADF
team and he was looking forward to
some “very hard and fast hockey”
during the competition.
“This championship is the pin-
nacle of ADF hockey, and I am
excited to represent Army and
the ADF on the biggest stage,”
Cpl Hoddinott said.
“This is my second year as the
team captain but my first year as
the solo captain. This is a fantastic
honour and privilege.”
CPO Downey said Cpl
Hoddinott’s selection as captain was
a reflection of his superb leader-
ship and performance he displayed
throughout the ADF tournament.
At the ACC, the ADF teams
will compete against WA, SA, Qld,
NSW and Vic.
June 29, 2017
Hockey players ready for country championships
Cpl Mark Doran
ADF men’s and women’s teams will
play in the Rugby League Festival of
World Cups, an international com-
munity event incorporating amateur
teams, to be held across western
Sydney from July 7-16.
They will be among the 400 players
from the armed forces, police, universi-
ties and wheelchair ranks of Australia,
England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, New
Zealand, the Pacific Islands and Fiji.
The event, featuring four sub-tour-
naments, will take place in the lead-up
to the main men’s and women’s World
Cups, which will be hosted by Australia,
New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
The universities, defence forces,
police forces and wheelchair rugby
leagues will each hold their respective
World Cups as part of the festival.
This is third iteration of the defence,
police and wheelchair tournaments,
while the universities tournament is the
ninth World Cup held for tertiary stu-
The inaugural Defence Forces World
Cup was held in Sydney in 2008, with
the final played at the Sydney Football
Stadium as a curtain raiser to the second
semi-final of the men’s World Cup
Five defence forces took part in the
2013 World Cup, in the UK.
New Zealand, Australia, Great
Britain, Papua New Guinea and the
Cook Islands competed in the event,
with Australia winning the final against
New Zealand, 32-22.
The main match days are July 7, 9
and 12, with the women’s final between
Australia and New Zealand on July 14.
The men’s final is on July 16.
More information can be found at www.
Festival of the boot
to her team
during the final
ACT side at the
NSW player Pte
takes a hit during
the final game
against the ACT at
the ADF Hockey
finals in Sydney.
Photos: AB Chantell
Heading to Toronto Cpl Mark Doran
WITH a bit of a push and shove,
Cpl Sonya Newman, of 1CSSB,
has shown her true grit and
determination to be selected to
represent Australia at the Invictus
Cpl Newman spent two years
in hospital after what was meant
to be a relatively normal surgical
procedure. She contracted a staph
infection and then endured 15
The infectious disease was
finally stopped by an above-knee
amputation of her right leg in
September last year.
Cpl Newman said she knew
things would be tough but she was
not prepared for what lay ahead.
“During my recovery the
Invictus Games paperwork was
shoved in front of me by members
of my unit,” she said.
“It took a shove, but here I am.”
Cpl Newman said her rehabili-
tation was an intensive physiother-
“It was a journey, learning to
walk again,” she said.
“Adjusting to the prosthetic leg
was one of my biggest achieve-
ments and it was scary at first.
“I put it on and thought there
was no way I could learn to walk
“After a couple of days it
became easier so I kept trying
and, before I knew it, I was walk-
ing. I surprise myself every day.”
Cpl Newman will compete in
swimming, indoor rowing, seated
volleyball and wheelchair basket-
ball during the Invictus Games.
Her training schedule is hectic
with training sessions for most
sports every day.
Cpl Newman said the biggest
challenge was in her head.
“I over-think what I can and
can’t achieve,” she said.
“There were three years that I
didn’t achieve much at all so I had
to overcome that thought. Life is a
bit more challenging these days,
but getting out of bed and training
every day is what keeps me going.
“The Invictus spirit, the mates
I’ve made and the inspiration I’ve
been given by the other athletes is
“My story is insignificant com-
pared to others, but watching what
they have overcome is a massive
stimulus for me.”
Cpl Newman said she wanted
to stay with Army as long as
“I was a heavy vehicle driver,”
“I’m not keen to go and sit
behind a computer in an office for
“The support I’ve been given by
Defence has been fantastic. When
it became apparent my illness was
serious I was given all the help I
Cpl Newman’s partner Jennifer
and her children, Douglas and
Ashley, are proud of the gutsy
soldier and her new leg as well.
Cpl Newman said the love and
support of her family had been
fundamental to her recovery.
In the week before her opera-
tion they met a patient who had
recently undergone the same
Cpl Newman said she
explained her situation to him and
asked him to show his prosthetic
leg to her kids.
“The experience prepared them
for what was happening to me and
they weren’t shocked when they
visited me in hospital after my sur-
gery,” she said.
“I think they were actually excit-
ed, and they were happy because
they could play with me because I
wasn’t in pain.
“My life has changed. My jour-
ney is not dictated by my disability
and my passion to succeed is the
key to my survival.”
Passion to succeed
Cpl Sonya Newman, of 1CSSB,
practises for seated volleyball
during the Invictus Games
training squad camp in Sydney.
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