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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Aussie 'Lizzie' Watkins dies in a freak accident

Have you heard of ‘ Kookaburras’ and ‘Hockeyroos’ !     Games are not dangerous but players do get injured often and occasionally some freak accidents end up in fatality also.  Just about a week ago, Kenya mourned the death of its Women’s rugby captain - Aberdeen Shikoyi, in an onfield incident.  Read the post   –

More tragic news as a 24 year old  died in Australia  during a game between North Coast Raiders and Victoria Park Panthers on 6th May 12,  from a blow to the head when a ball deflected off her stick and hit her.  It is reported that  Hockey officials have launched an investigation into the tragic death of State  League player Elizabeth Watkins.

The Australians are hooked to hockey and they dish out fast pace dispensation.  ‘Hockeyroos’  is the nickname of  Australian Women’s National Field Hockey team.  They have been playing the game for close to a century now and have been one of Australia’s most successful sporting teams, boasting three Olympic Gold Medals from the past six Games as well as winning two World Cups (1994, 1998) and three Commonwealth Games Gold Medals (1998, 2006, 2010).  The Hockeyroos have been crowned Australia’s Team of the Year five times and were unanimously awarded Best Australian Team at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

There is some cricket connection here.    A notable part of the Hockeyroos colourful history has involved Ric Charlesworth.  Dr. Richard Ian (Ric) Charlesworth AM is a towering personality, a motivational speaker, a medical Doctor, former Federal politician, star player in Men’s hockey and a cricketer.  He played for Western Australia making 2327 runs.   Charlesworth was at the helm of the Hockeyroos from 1993 to 2000, where his reign as coach saw the team win  Champion Trophy, World Cup and Commonwealth game.  

Sadly there has been a sporting accident involving loss of life of Elizabeth Watkins.  Hockeyroos has constantly remained at the top ranking for many years.   The 24-year-old was playing at Perth Hockey Stadium at Curtin University yesterday in a State League game between the North Coast Raiders and the Victoria Park Panthers. She collapsed unconscious when a ball deflected off a stick and hit her on the head midway through the first half of the game.   Attempts were made to revive her before an ambulance arrived. She was breathing when she was rushed to hospital, but died on the way. Ms Watkins' sister Catherine Carrol was playing alongside her and rushed to her side. People at the scene attempted to revive Ms Watkins, who was breathing when an amulance arrived.  Sadly, she  died on the way to hospital.

Hockey WA has launched an investigation into the incident and  Video footage of the incident has been made available by Victoria Park for investigation. The hockey community defended the sport's safety record as emotional tributes poured in from around the world with the men's Kookaburras wearing black armbands in the final of an Olympics warm-up tournament in London on Sunday night.

The pouring tributes reveal that Ms Watkins nicknamed Lizzie,  had been pleasant and attractive.   In 2010 she opened Meg and Wally, a West Leederville fashion boutique with her sister.   The Hockeyroos, who are in the middle of a training block in Perth, were saddened by the incident, many sharing their condolences.

‘Kookaburras’ is the nickname of the Men’s Hockey Team of   Australia.  Despite being a very good team, their inability to win an Olympic Gold medal was baffling making people speak of a curse afflicting the team.  The jinx was finally broken in 2004 Olympics in Athens.   

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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