With the World Outdoor Ball Hockey Championship (WOBHC) right around the corner, we thought it was a good time to catch up with Iain Downes, Captain of BHi’s Great Britain Heritage Team, who’ll be competing in the tournament alongside the rest of the Niagara War Pigs. We asked him about his goals in ball hockey, and how he’s been preparing for the upcoming competition.
Stick Skillz: What have you been up to since the WBHF?
Iain Downes: Since the WBHF, I prepared myself to compete at the Canadian Nationals. My Niagara War Pigs team was unable to qualify, however I was lucky enough to get picked up by the Edmonton Savages. Other than that, I’ve spent the remainder of my summer catching up with family and friends.
SS: Do you have any accomplishments you can speak on since finishing the WBHF this year?
ID: As I mentioned, I was able to compete at the National Championships in New Brunswick. After a tremendous week of hockey, we attained our ultimate goal of winning the gold medal. It truly was an unbelievable accomplishment.
SS: With that in mind, what would you say is your biggest accomplishment in your athletic career to date?
ID: Well, playing on the world stage in the Czech Republic for Team Great Britain was a dream come true for me. However, winning gold at the Nationals this year has to be right up there as I have been competing for that elusive medal for three years now.
SS: How do you set goals for yourself?
ID: It’s really quite simple for me. My goals have been and always will be the same. I strive to play to the best of my ability so I can compete with the best.
SS: How do you go about managing these goals?
ID: Well in order to compete with the best, I keep myself motivated to work out and stay in decent shape. More than anything I keep my cardio at a level that allows me to maintain energy and stamina throughout the game.
SS: What is the next ball hockey event that you’re most looking forward to?
ID: Coming up this weeknd is the World Outdoor Championships in Barrie. Every year I look forward to this event, as it’s one of my favourite tournaments. Also, the Niagara War Pigs are the defending champions, so every team is going to be looking to dethrone us. It should be a great weekend of ball hockey. After that, the Clash of Titans tournament December 1st-3rd will be a big tourney as well, as most of the best teams in North America will be competing there.
SS: How have you been keeping your skills sharp in the months since the WBHF?
ID: Well, since the WBHF and Nationals, I have taken a few weeks off. The time away from the game allows me to get some rest and get refocused for the upcoming fall season, as I tend to play eleven months out of the year.
SS: What would you say is the biggest thing that differentiates you from the competition?
ID: I would have to say my ability to adapt my game to play with and against anybody. I feel I am able to adapt my game to fulfill whatever role my team needs me to do in each game.
SS: What is the best advice you were ever given?
ID: I would have to say the best advice I received came from my mother when I was young. She always told me to block out all the distractions and go out there and play to the best of my ability. To forget about all the politics and show that you deserve to play alongside the best.
We’d like to thank Iain for taking the time to answer these questions. You’ll be able to see him playing alongside the best at this years World Outdoor Ball Hockey Championship in Barrie from Sept 22nd to the 24th. If you’re not able to make it in person, don’t worry! We’ll be there to cover it live on our Twitter and Instagram feeds!
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