Welcome to Underwater Hockey (Octopush)! We are a small, friendly club that are always open to new members whether you are a sporting pro or have never played before and are interested in learning something new. Octopush is a non-contact sport which can, at times, get rough. A team consists of 6 players in the water and 4 subs. These subs can be in water or situated on poolside and are able to substitute at any point during the game. The aim of the game is to push the puck, a brightly coloured, plastic covered weight along the bottom of the pool into the other team’s goal, a metal gulley. As the sport is underwater it requires players to hold their breath. This means that team work and passing is critical to maintain control of the puck. Some equipment is required to play this sport but our club can supply any and all equipment needed. The equipment consists of a mask, snorkel, water polo hat, fins, protective glove and a 6-8 inch wooden or plastic hockey bat required to push the puck along the bottom of the pool. We are currently 8 times student national champions, which is a fantastic achievement for a club of our size. With our achievements we hope to expand the club to more new members and hope that the sport we are passionate about can be enjoyed by other students in the university.
Each session we alternate between Plympton pool and the pool at Plymouth City College with sessions at Plympton being Sundays 8pm-10pm and City College sessions being Saturdays 6pm-8pm. All sessions are at the very reasonable price of £1. We occasionally meet 30 minutes earlier for some game theory which teaches skills and helps newer members understand the most effective positioning underwater. For the more passionate members there are also external sessions run by a local Octopush club on Sunday evenings. However, it is suggested that members only attend these sessions once slightly more adept at the sport. Octopush is a great sport for the casual player but also the budding athletes out there. Having four subs available means that if players are feeling tired or aren’t the fittest then they are able to rest at any point during games. Alternatively, players are able to play for as long as their body allows, pushing themselves to the limits and testing their fitness levels. As the sport requires players to hold their breath it has huge anaerobic benefits for fitness which are noticed considerably in other sports where players are able to breathe as much as they want. A large number of our members play other sports and use Octopush primarily to improve their fitness in a less conventional way. It is most definitely more fun than going for a run in the park on a Sunday evening. Also, Octopush is great training for swimmers and water polo players as it gives them more pool time and varies their training.
As a club we would usually socialise weekly at our local pub after training however given the current circumstances this is not possible. We aim to return to doing this as soon as it is safe to do so as this gives us a relaxed way to cool down after training and get to know each other better. We're going to be running online socials regularly which will be a mix of drinking and sober socials. These will include pub quizzes, online card games, Psych! and many more.
Normally each year we have two major competitions; Valentines and Nationals. Valentines competition is usually carried out in February, as the name suggests and is hosted at home in Plymouth. Other university teams join us as well as teams known as Barbarians which tend to be comprised of alumni from a range of universities. The Nationals competition is just universities with the exception of Barbarian teams as friendly preliminary competition (they do not count towards the final result). We are all hoping that these competitions will be abllowed to go ahead this year.
Every year we aim to enter two teams into both competitions. One team of our most elite/dedicated players aiming to maintain our title and another team of our more casual players who play less often or are not as keen on big competitions. Many new members to the sport compete at a national level and some have even become National Champions six months after joining the sport.
Fundraising and volunteering is very important to a small club such as Octopush. Making a massive impact in the university is hard to achieve when the club is small but each year we manage to pull together and work as a team to volunteer and raise as much money for charity as possible. In previos years we have raised enough to gain us the Gold ICONS title which is very a proud achievement.
Our members like to help out wherever possible so if you are interested in helping and joining this weird and wonderful sport, ask the committee or check out our Facebook page, Plymouth Uni Underwater Hockey Club, and instagram, plymouthmantas.
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