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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

More Fun Underwater

As i searched for Queensway Swimming Complex, i didn't know what to expect.

Weeks ago, a friend asked if i wanted to join for a session of underwater hockey. I agreed without knowing what it is. That's me, i don't overthink. I don't find out who's going, what's happening, i just do it. 

Arriving and then stripping to my bikini, groups of swimmers in caps, snorkels and gloves were milling around the pool. 

They look friendly. 

We were introduced to the world of underwater hockey. Started in 1950s by the British, they wanted something to play in winter. It got introduced to Singapore in 2004 by the Stirling Underwater Hockey Club and today, a small group of members practice every Tue and Fri evenings. 

We were handed masks, snorkel, a stick and a glove defaced with toothpaste (extra protection for the hand). We started by learning the basic skills that'll help with playing the game. I had to crunch my abs in one swift move in order to get to the bottom of the pool bed and stay. Swimming at the bottom of the pool bed, we practiced pushing the puck forward, defending it by curling our bodies around it and putting our legs in a cycling motion.
I've never swam underwater with a snorkel, i had a fear that i'll drink water through that tube, but i busted the "myth"! We held breaths as we dived down with the snorkel, but blew our pipes like a whale as we surfaced. 

We lined up for a beginner's game. Like soccer, there were similar roles like forward, defender etc. To score, make the puck travel into the opponent's goal post, underwater. 

The horn sounded, we all dived in. Players with good skill could flatten their bodies on the pool floor while beginners had their ass pointing up underwater. Underwater hockey relies heavily on team work. Unless one individual possess the ability to hold his breath and hold his court, he is able to score independently. And i saw it happen.

It was exhilarating  I felt my lungs fill with air, my legs kicking faster than it has ever before, just to touch the puck for a mere second before an opponent snatched it from me. I waited above, head submerged watching the game, waiting for my moment to dive in to help a breathless team mate. My lungs started to hurt alittle, unsure if its because i'm pushing it too hard or from all that excitement. 

The path to goal was clear, the puck was in my hand, my ego was screaming "show off what a newbie can doooo!" But alarm bells were ringing in my head, "I NEED AIR!" I abandoned my puck, i didn't want "Died from Underwater Hockey" on my tombstone. 
I managed to touch the puck for 1 SECOND 
Taking some minutes to just watch the game from above, it was quite a sight. Swarms of people in tiny speedos and condom caps all ducking at the same time to reach the puck. If in this lifetime i don't get to see a large school of fish swimming in one direction, this sight could represent. 

I didn't expect myself to like underwater hockey, but i did. The thrill, the adrenaline, the physical demand is addictive.

You can try it out every Tues evenings at Queensway Complex. Tues are for beginners while Fri evenings are for players. Find more information at http://suhc.wordpress.com

                         

2 comments:

M said...

Thanks for this post. Found this post pretty late. Do join us again... maybe resolution for 2015????....

Wai Meng on behalf of SUHC.

Blogger said...

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