Having first picked up a hockey stick when he was four, Australian Jamie Dwyer has become a Gold Medal Olympian, been twice named the IHF World’s Hockey Player of the Year and played hockey in Spain, India and The Netherlands.
Jamie has now played for Australia 190 times, scoring 114 goals, and plays in Holland for Bloemendaal HC in the Dutch Rabo Hoofdklasse. On his return from touring with his national team, The Kookaburras, Jamie talked to The Sport Review.
You were offered a cricket scholarship in Brisbane when you were 16, was there pressure on you to pursue this? And why did you choose hockey instead?
There was no real pressure to pursue a cricketing career; my parents let me decide which sport I wanted to play. I always liked hockey better because of how fast it is. I also always wanted to go to the Olympics.
What are the main differences between the way hockey is received and represented in Holland compared to your native Australia?
In Australia we have a lot of sports to compete with and it’s not as popular as what it is in Holland. What I really like about playing in Holland is the crowds and how they really appreciate good hockey.
Describe a sporting week in the life of a top international hockey player plying in their trade in the worlds best competition – The Rabo Hoofdklasse?
I’ll train with the stick and ball about four times a week; I’ll also do two gym sessions and maybe a run or a yoga session. Then there will be two or three team meetings, as well as a game at the weekend.
Which current hockey players do you admire and why?
I admire Teun De Nooijer. He has been in the top three or four players in the world for 15 years. He’s a role model for younger hockey players.
What has been your greatest sporting moment and achievement?
Winning the gold medal, and scoring the Golden Goal in Athens was the greatest moment in my hockey career. Also getting named best player in the world twice was a great personal achievement.
Which sportsmen do you admire from outside the game of hockey?
What do you think can be done to raise the profile and stature of the game?
The game needs to be on television as much as possible. I also think they can do a better job with the way they video the game. I think they should video from behind the goal not from the sideline. Also, maybe the creation of a world cup challenge.
What advice would you give to any rising players looking to succeed at the highest level?
Train hard and always look to improve, but most of all have fun playing the game.