TOKYO – During her first keynote at Hockeyroos in April, newly appointed coach Katrina Powell told the team she was with them.
After years of discontent, the hockey team had a head coach – a woman of all – in their corner. A two-time gold medalist who has walked the path they have outlined.
If Hockeyroos is an NRL or AFL team, then allegations of bullying, body shaming, sexisation and a general lack of care and understanding for their athletes both during and after their careers have surfaced from many years ago. last year.
It will fill the front and back pages of newspapers and news bulletins.
Instead, because of the nature of an Olympic sport, which attracts national attention every four years, it has unfortunately gone unnoticed. The checks and balances typically applied to high-achieving professional and sports organizations have not been seen.
Only after two of the top players – Rachael Lynch and former captain Georgie Morgan – in Hockeyroos who were logically removed from the team at the end of 2020 are a shining light on Hockey Australia’s shortcomings.
It took a group of courageous female athletes – past and present – to threaten a strike in late 2020 and leak it to the media to open an investigation.
The independent investigation found the Hockeyroos program to be “dysfunctional” and made 29 recommendations to the regulator.
On the night before the findings were delivered, Former coach Paul Gaudion resigns.
His departure was followed by a string of big names including high-performance director Toni Cumpston and then Hockey Australia CEO Matt Favier.
So when Powell, who won a gold medal at her hometown Olympics in 2000, was offered her “dream job,” she left the lineup clear on what Hockeyroos was all about. about.
“I make sure they know I’m on board,” she told News Corp.
“They know that I am invested in the success of Hockey and have been longer than some of them are alive.
“That has always been my aim.
“It’s not me taking a phone call, this is work, now I have a purpose. No, that purpose, the success of Hockey… I personally have invested in them for a long time.
“I suppose I talked to them about the legacy of Hockey and it’s not left to you. I’ve been on board for 30 years, a long time. “
Powell is the first woman to coach the hockey team in 43 years.
No doubt her appointment helped heal a fractured team.
But while one of Powell’s strengths is listening and nurturing, she means business.
“I think if you’re leaving Australia for the Olympics as an Australian hockey team, you should keep your eyes on the grand prize and that’s definitely what we’re going to be looking at,” Powell said.
“We’re looking to Tokyo for success, it’s a gold medal. That’s what we will do.
“At the Olympics, you need everything, everything goes your way, all your preparations have to be careful, there are many things that help you get the best out of the park and we was in Darwin [acclimatising] trying to make that happen. “
Powell has no illusions.
She knew hockey was coming from a mile back.
The hockey team was finally able to face some international opposition as they faced the Black Rods in recent months, but while they were limited to trans-Tasman games, the Netherlands played with Germany’s rising power in Europe.
Powell hopes the lack of game time will see Hockey players fly in the crosshairs.
“I think if we lead more, everyone else leads more, some of the teams in our group do too, and maybe it gives us a chance, while still playing New York. Zealand, so that our play is streamlined and maybe a little secretive,” she said.
“We’ve changed quite a bit, obviously when I arrived we changed a few things so the opposing teams didn’t really get a chance to study us.”
Once again, the Dutch entered the Olympics as favorites.
But as was the case with the Netherlands and Hockeyroos, both nations fell short of expectations in 2016 and in the case of Australia, they were eliminated in the quarterfinals.
“The Dutch lost in Rio under similar circumstances. They were number one, obviously number one, and didn’t go home with a gold medal,” said Powell.
“Those teams have more pressure, Germany also performed well at the Euros, so the Netherlands, Germany, Argentina, they are all more appreciated than the Australian team. We will only use that to our advantage. “
https://www.foxsports.com.au/tokyo-olympics-2021/tokyo-olympics-2020-hockeyroos-coach-katrina-powell-first-address-hockey-australia-japan-games-gold-medal-rachael-lynch-paul-gaudion/news-story/7bf1118df36e00484cdfc0352485fe30 | Hockeyroos coach Katrina Powell first address, Hockey Australia, Japan Games, gold medal, Rachael Lynch, Paul Gaudion