ALL SMILES: Rockhampton Olympians Jamie Dwyer and Mark Knowles returned to Kalka Shades for two busy coaching clinics.
ALL SMILES: Rockhampton Olympians Jamie Dwyer and Mark Knowles returned to Kalka Shades for two busy coaching clinics. Allan Reinikka ROK060317ahockey1

Back to where it all began

HOCKEY: Kalka Shades is just a stone's throw away from the Dwyer household on Edington St.

It was a bit further of a drive in for the Knowles family though each trip was eagerly anticipated.

But you can't talk about these famous hockey fields in Rockhampton without talking about its Olympic pulling power.

READ: How Dwyer was honoured by the Rockhampton hockey community.

Both Jamie Dwyer and Mark Knowles remember vividly, the hours, the afternoon sessions, the jokes, the pranks and laughter, all at Kalka Shades.

Yesterday the former and current Kookaburras captains, back in town for a coaching session of their own, recalled the 'good old days'.

"For sure it is great to be home," Dwyer said.

"These are the grounds where both of us grew up playing as young fellas. It has changed quite a bit with the turf coming in but we still have the same great memories here.

"I remember mucking around here with Knowlesy every Saturday, whether it would be after we had played or after our parents had, or just hitting the ball into the goals.

"At least three to five times a week we would be here for hockey. And in the summer it was cricket session and straight back into hockey. Kalka Shades was a big part of our lives."

 

Jamie Dwyer celebrates Australia's win during the Day 6 Australia v Netherlands final match at the Men's Hockey Champions Trophy in Melbourne, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. (AAP Image/Grant Treeby) NO ARCHIVING
Jamie Dwyer celebrates Australia's win during the Day 6 Australia v Netherlands final match at the Men's Hockey Champions Trophy in Melbourne, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. (AAP Image/Grant Treeby) NO ARCHIVING Grant Treeby

Reunited with their 'home' ground yesterday for two coaching clinics, both men hoped to instil some of their knowledge in today's budding crop.

"It is a great two sessions for us. First the 8-13s with about 40 kids in a massive group. Then the 14-year-olds to opens," Knowles said.

"The most important part is the participation. The kids will get to see us doing some tricks and then get to try and take us on.

"Today we will add in some sliding water deflections. It should be something cool and different. We obviously provide experienced coaching but we want the kids to have fun while we are here."

Asked to pick their favourite memory from their Kalka days, two similar answers returned.

"Winning the state championships here was great. I was also lucky enough to represent Australia here on this ground which was really special," Dwyer said.

"We didn't win too many premierships but the year before I left we won it which was nice."

"My favourite was winning the under-18s championships for Rockhampton and then my first premiership in A-grade for Souths," Knowles said. "They are the two that really stick out."

 

FILE - In this Dec. 9, 2012, file photo, Mark Knowles of Australia plays during the gold medal playoff match against the Netherlands in the Champions Trophy field hockey tournament in Melbourne, Australia. Top-ranked Australia boasts stars Jamie Dwyer and Mark Knowles. (AP Photo/Mal Fairclough, File)
FILE - In this Dec. 9, 2012, file photo, Mark Knowles of Australia plays during the gold medal playoff match against the Netherlands in the Champions Trophy field hockey tournament in Melbourne, Australia. Top-ranked Australia boasts stars Jamie Dwyer and Mark Knowles. (AP Photo/Mal Fairclough, File) Mal Fairclough

Both players agreed that the one message to the kids involved was that if they could do it, so could anyone.

"We just want to show them that it is possible. If they really want to take their hockey to the next level they can.

"We were here at their age doing exactly what they are doing now. They can reach the top playing on this very field.

"Jamie was 17 when we got turf, I was 13. What they have got now is better than what we grew up with.

"So I think it is pretty special with what the three of us have done - so it is important the kids get to see our passion and love for the sport. They can do it too."



War of words erupts after Rocky races called off

Premium Content War of words erupts after Rocky races called off

A Rockhampton trainer and a visiting jockey exchanged heated words after Saturday’s...

Brad has a blast: ‘That was living a lifelong dream’

Premium Content Brad has a blast: ‘That was living a lifelong dream’

CQ beef industry identity leads team into battle against Classic Wallabies.

Bad start: Yeppoon Swans captain blew .172

Premium Content Bad start: Yeppoon Swans captain blew .172

A day of drinking to celebrate being named captain of his footy team ended...