Ipswich's top talent heading indoors
HAVING represented Queensland since under 15, Eden Jackat sums up perfectly what her summer sport means to her.
"I don't consider indoor hockey my off-season because I love it,'' she said.
While some players try indoor hockey for variety and fitness, Jackat has become one of the best exponents of the game.
She's preparing to represent the Queensland open side defending its national title in Wollongong next month.
After also sharing in Wests' A grade hockey grand final victory this year, the Ipswich player is thrilled to see the indoor game advancing.
"I think indoor made my outdoor game stronger and it's just enhanced my game,'' Jackat, 20, said.
That's why she's pleased to see so many other Ipswich-based players join her in recently named Queensland sides.
The regional contingent includes Profke brothers Zac and Riley, as well as other talented outdoor hockey players across the grades.
Like Jackat, they will represent their various state teams at next month's national championships, all in Wollongong.
Ipswich Hockey's Regional Coaching Director Sam Spry is delighted to see such a diverse array of players recognised.
"It certainly means that our indoor is growing, especially from our perspective,'' Spry said.
"There weren't as many in last year but we seem to be more across the board, especially in the senior levels. We've got somebody in nearly every representative group.''
During indoor hockey matches, six play on the court with squads of eight or 10 usually chosen.
Spry said playing indoor hockey over summer offered different experiences for those involved.
"The competition is growing in Queensland and so are our state championships, which is exceptional,'' she said.
"It means we're giving more kids opportunities to play because we have ones that are good outdoor players but they are really good quality indoor players.
"They may not have got the opportunity to represent Queensland outdoor but they get the opportunity to wear the Maroon uniform playing indoor.
"We get the best of both worlds in the fact that everybody gets the opportunity to wear the Maroon.''
As a coaching director, Spry knows what skills players develop trying the indoor format.
"Indoor has its good and bad points but I think it's certainly a quality sport for our athletes, especially to maintain fitness in the off-season,'' she said.
"Indoor is all pushing.
"There's no hitting whatsover so it certainly sharpens up their game and brings in a different dynamic to their game.''
Meanwhile, Spry was involved with the under-17 Women's Emerging Athletes Camp at the State Hockey Centre over the weekend.
Ipswich-based players Gaby Nicholls, Kelly McNamara, Emily Witheyman-Crump, Jessica Chaplin and Mackenzie McAvoy were invited to play games, gain access to elite coaching and learn about nutrition, recovery and other off-field skills.
Ipswich-based Tom Picton, Bailey Hoyland- Meaker and Jake Thornton have been invited to this weekend's under-17 emerging camp for talented boys identified at this year's state titles.
Ipswich-based players selected to represent Queensland indoor hockey teams at national championships in Wollongong next month.
Open women (January 5-8): Eden Jackat.
U21 men (January 10-13): Kai Douglas, Bailey Hoyland-Meaker. Shadow: Cade Banditt.
U21 women (January 10-13): Shadow - Hannah Casey.
U18 men (January 7-21): Cade Banditt, Ryan Smith. Shadow: Blake Douglas.
U18 women (January 17-21): Hannah Casey, Emily Witheyman-Crump. Shadow: Brooke Pavitt.
U15 boys (January 21-25): Zac Profke, Matthew West.
U15 girls (January 21-25): Talicia Canty.
U13 boys (January 13-15): Daimon Bell, Riley Profke.
U13 girls (January 13-15): Victoria Heffernan. Shadow: Caitlin Canty.