Gympie players dominate Queensland roller hockey team
ROLLER HOCKEY: Gympie is fast becoming Australia's roller hockey capital with eight local players gaining selection in Queensland under-17 and U15 teams respectively.
Max Hall, Josh Nyberg, Cody-Jon Gardner, Jay Burnett, Bailey Buckley, Kadin Hewitt, David Kirkpatrick and Brayden Lindsay will fly the flag for the gold city on the representative scene later this year.
Roller hockey, a sport new to Gympie, combines the stick and ball skills of field hockey with skating.
SkateZone Gympie owner, and Australian roller hockey represent- ative Darren Nyberg, said wearing the maroon of Queensland came with responsibility.
"It is awesome for the players,” Nyberg said.
"It is a really big thing for them but the real work starts for them now.
"Playing at that level is a really big step up.
"Their training will be at a whole new level.”
Nyberg is busy preparing the Gympie contingent for the national titles in Brisbane in September which will also feature teams from New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.
"It is more about getting them mentally prepared,” Nyberg said.
"It is the first time Gympie has ever had Queensland represent- atives in roller hockey.
"Sixth months ago these players came here (SkateZone) and couldn't skate; now look at them.
"Some, but not all of them, have come from a team sport environment so we have started training twice a week with some early mornings.”
On the back of these representative selections, Gympie is establishing itself as a hot spot for the sport.
Roller hockey is close to being included in the Olympic Games and earlier this year the Glanmire venue hosted an international match between Australia and Germany which received glowing reviews.