USQ Ipswich student Peta Lowden has been selected in the Australian green and gold merit hockey team after her performance in Perth.
USQ Ipswich student Peta Lowden has been selected in the Australian green and gold merit hockey team after her performance in Perth. Rob Williams

Busy Peta's surprise national reward

BEING a sporting all-rounder paid dividends for USQ Ipswich student Peta Lowden.

Thrust into hockey goals at the recent Australian University Games, Lowden impressed so much she was named in the national Green and Gold merit team after the annual championships.

"I haven't played hockey since I was five,'' Lowden, 26, said.

However, the former Western Spirit footballer and Goodna rugby player adapted quickly to her new role representing the USQ Ipswich hockey team.

"For Australian Games I played in goals and did all right,'' she said, offering to help out when the team needed a person to guard the net.

"I literally had one training session.''

The first-year paramedics student said her background in soccer proved most helpful when called upon in hockey.

"It hurts a lot more when you get hit with the ball,'' she said of the difference guarding goals in hockey and soccer.

"But it's definitely more hand-eye co-ordination because obviously the ball is a lot smaller and it comes a lot quicker generally.

"It's a little bit different and a bit hard but it's good fun. I had a great time.''

The rookie hockey goalkeeper's reward was making the national honorary side, providing another surprise.

"My captain rang me and she said you've made the Green and Gold merit team. I said I don't even know what that is but that's okay,'' Lowden said.

"I was really thankful for all the help. They spent a lot of time trying to help me.''

The tattoo on her right arm shows how much Lowden appreciates the support in sport and life generally.

The symbolic message reads: "Family and friends are everything so you should never forget where you come from.''

Her mother Susan is a former ACT representative hockey player.

After an unbeaten run through the early rounds in Perth, USQ Ipswich was bundled out in the knockout quarter-final, losing to QUT 2-1.

Forest Lake-based Lowden said the USQ Ipswich team did exceptionally well finishing fifth overall, matching the best sides in the qualifying games.

"I'd never been to Perth so it was really nice to go over there,'' she said.

"I had a great time with my mates touring.''

It was her first representative honour for hockey, having previously being recognised playing schoolgirls soccer for Queensland Lions.

A fan of Queensland and Australian rugby league captain Cameron Smith, Lowden was also a distance runner in her school days.

She played touch representing USQ Ipswich at the Northern University Games on the Sunshine Coast in July.

After moving from Melbourne and Canberra to south east Queensland as a youngster, she enjoyed soccer stints with Western Spirit and lacing on the rugby boots with Goodna.

As she prepares for the second of her three year course in Ipswich, the busy all-rounder hopes to line up at another major event.

"I want to play Uni Games again next year. Whether I play hockey or soccer I don't know,'' she said, also working as a manager at Hungry Jacks.

After her success in hockey, there's little doubt at least one team will be keen to secure her talents.

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