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, holding the position for the previous five years. We are the smallest sports clubs at the university that won Gold ICONS this year, competing with clubs that contained over 200 members. This is a fantastic achievement for a club of our size. Having won sports man of the year, sports woman of the year and personality of the year in the last two years is also a considerable achievement for the club. With so many 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.
We train weekly on a Sunday evening at the very reasonable price of £1. Training starts at 20:30 on poolside at the Life Centre and finishes at 22:00. 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 Tuesday and Wednesday 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 socialise weekly at our local pub after training. This gives us a relaxed way to cool down after training and get to know each other better. We hold larger socials every Thursday fortnightly, these are a mix of drinking and sober socials. As a smaller club these socials tend to be far more relaxed. We aim to have far more interclub socials this year with other water sports based sports and societies. The white t-shirt social is guaranteed to be one of the best nights out of the whole year! Each year every single sports club does a white t-shirt social... and ours is always a brilliant night out. All you need to do for this social is wear a white t-shirt (stock up in Primark!!!) and enjoy the night. For more information, come along to our stall at the Sports Fair or email one of the committee members.
Each year we have two major competitions; Valentines and Nationals. Valentines competition is 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). This year, Nationals is being hosted by us in Plymouth!
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.
In addition, we compete in some smaller competitions/friendlies that are local to the Devon area and frequently travel down to Falmouth to play with the Exeter-Falmouth team before all going out together for a good evening.
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. Last year, we raised enough to gain us the Gold ICONS title which is a proud achievement.
Our members like to help out wherever possible so if you are interested in helping, ask the committee or check out our Facebook page.
Facebook Group: facebook.com/groups/Octopush/