I spent most of the first two weeks of June taking part in the Grand Masters Hockey World Cup, which was held at the Hockey Club Klein Zwitserland in The Hague, Holland. Grand Masters hockey now covers four age groups; over 60 (Grand Masters), over 65 (Great Grand Masters), over 70 (Senior Grand Masters) and over 75 (Vintage Grand Masters). There were 56 teams taking part from sixteen countries including South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, Malasia and Japan, as well as the main European countries. In addition to the World Championship in each age range (except the over 75) there was a Trophy competition for supplementary teams. England had teams in all the competitions.
I was selected as the defensive reserve in the England over 70 squad, but no one dropped out! My other problem is that the current captain, John Longdon, plays in my normal centre back position! However, I was able to play in my normal position at the centre of the defence for the England LX team (photo attached) in the over 70 Trophy competition. Our opponents in this competition were Australia, Netherlands, and Alliance (multinational).
The competition was a straight league event with the teams playing each other twice. It was quite a close run event but England LX took the gold medal, having won 4, drawn 1 and lost 1 match. (Photo with medal and trophy is attached). I played for the whole time in all the games so I almost certainly got more time on the pitch than if I had been in the England side.
This was my third experience of a major international hockey tournament, after the World Cup in England in 2012 and the European Championships in Belgium last year. They have all proved very competitive, very friendly and been blessed with good weather, so have been thoroughly enjoyable. I now have two gold medals and a silver, and I can only hope for more such opportunities in the future.
The final results in the main World Cup competitions were:
Gold; Australia Silver; Netherlands Bronze; England
Gold; Netherlands Silver; Australia Bronze; England
Gold; England Silver; Netherlands Bronze; Australia
Gold; Australia Silver; England Bronze; Netherlands
The final Trophy results were:
Gold; Eng. LX White Silver; Eng. LX Red Bronze; Australia
Gold; England LX Silver; Netherlands A Bronze; Netherlands B
Gold; England LX Silver; Netherlands Bronze; Australia
So England are the over 70 world champions and got a medal position in all the other World Cup age groups. In the Trophy competitions we won all the gold medals.