Team Profile – Dead Ants
We interview Dead Ants hockey team member Mark Haines of Townsville, QLD to let us know about the team and why they go by the name Dead Ants!
Tell us about your team the Dead Ants. Where does that name come from?
The team has a tradition of all doing a Dead Ant when one of our players scores a goal. That is lying on your back with hands and feet in the air. This includes team managers, reserves and those Dead Ants not playing who are supporting the Dead Ants men’s or ladies’ team at the time. Fines are mandatory for those who don’t complete the ‘dead ant’ as required.
Our team had its origins way back at the start of the very first ASMG. Originally known as Mal’s Marauders, players came from mainly Mt Isa, as it was only 1100 kilometres away. The team name was changed to Mt Isa Dead Ants in the early 1990s and later just the Dead Ants in the 2000s, as 12 hour mine shifts meant hockey in Mt Isa suffered from lack of players.
Where is your team from?
These days our players come from all across the country. We have Dead Ants players coming from Townsville, South East Queensland, Mt Isa and Northern NSW. Also we have a couple of players coming back from overseas just to play for us, such is the appeal of the AMSG and, of course, the Dead Ants.
It is truly remarkable the efforts some of our players make to get to the ASMG. We always have players flying out of Sydney and Cairns to get to Alice. Others are driving this year to Adelaide to compete firstly in the Australian State Hockey Championships, then driving to Alice Springs to play hockey for another week, then driving back to Townsville after the ASMG, a distance of about 6,500kms!
Why hockey? How long have you been playing?
Most of the Dead Ants have been associated with hockey for the better part of their lives, either with family or on their own. Our players range from those who have played all their adult life to those who have adopted the sport later. Like a lot of the teams competing at Alice we also have a number of our players who have also represented hockey at a state level as well, so they just enjoy the sport and the comraderie it brings.
Alice Springs Hockey also has great facilities with the water based turf. The local Association and volunteers always run a great comp for the ASMG. It is always good to also catch up with players from Darwin, Adelaide, Alice Springs and all the other competitors who regularly travel to Alice every 2 years.
How long have you been involved in the Alice Springs Masters Games?
One of our players, is coming back for his 14th Alice Springs Masters Games, whilst others are only just making it to their 8th ASMG. We have a number coming back for their 3rd or 4th games, whilst for some of our Dead Ants this will be their first ASMG, assuming the responsibilities which come along with being a first-timer.
How did you hear about the Games?
Our group has known of the Alice Springs Masters Games since its inception and keep coming back each Games. Those that have competed are always great ambassadors for the ASMG things like websites and Facebook make things easier.
What makes the Dead Ants keep coming back?
We all enjoy the week-long festivities. Commencing from the welcome we receive upon our arrival in Alice Springs and the friendships we continue to make. We all look forward to catching up with those friends we might only see every 2 years.
The Alice Springs Masters Games are always well run with great entertainment and strong competition in a variety of sports.
Sports Med volunteers are also angelic and for some of us they perform miracles keeping the competitors in motion.