I have just finished competing in the NSW Over 40's State Hockey Championships. This is a competition contested over 3 days, and if you make the final, means you play 6 games of hockey during that period.
As anyone who has reached the milestone of 40+ years will tell you, your body starts to develop aches and pains that were not there when you were in your 30's. In my case, a very tender Achilles tendon, offset by ankle ligament tightness in the other foot, and a slight groin strain suffered during the semi-final, all contributed to a poor showing on my part.
But one of the benefits of playing a team sport is that one player's poor performance can be soaked up by the outstanding efforts of the other players in the squad. And this was definitely the case during the championships. The 15 other guys played their hearts out, and along with a fantastic manager (enjoy your winners medal Merv) and physio (thanks Susan), the Sydney Over 40's "B" team were able to prevail in a penalty shoot-out against Newcastle to win the B Division title for the first time since 2003.
This was my second year contesting the championships, and the camaraderie shown within the team, and with players from other teams is fantastic to experience. On the field, we are all determined to win, and take home the winners medal, but once the game is over, sharing a beer and a laugh become the most important aspects of the championships.
Many thanks to the players, manager, physio and supporters of the Sydney Over 40's "B" team for a great weekend, and let's hope we can return in 2010 to defend our title.