Australian hockey player dies on field

May 7th, 2012 - 5:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Perth, May 7 (IANS) In a tragic incident, a talented young women’s hockey player Lizzie Watkins was killed in an on-field incident after she was hit on her head by hockey ball at the Perth Hockey Stadium here.

The Age reported that the incident took place Sunday afternoon and Lizzie, who was playing along side her sister Cath, must have died after the ball struck her on the head, possibly after a deflection from her own stick.

Lizzie, a first-grade player with North Coast Raiders, was revived after collapsing on the field but died on her way to hospital.

Lizzie’s death sent shockwaves in the Australian hockey fraternity.

Olympic gold medallist Jamie Dwyer expressed his condolences on behalf of the Australian men’s hockey team.

“All the Kookaburras thoughts are with the Watkins family after the devastating news today. Such a sad day in the hockey world,” he wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.

Lizzie’s coach Colin Brandis said the incident occurred midway through the first half.

“It was a fairly innocuous incident, which occurs 100 times each game. She rushed from fullback to make a tackle when the ball deflected and hit her on the back of the head,” Brandis said.

The North Coast Raiders president, Craig Vallipuram, said the club was shocked at the death of Lizzie.

“We’re very devastated about what’s happened and we’re all coming to terms with it at the moment. People are just really just trying to digest what’s happened … playing a game of hockey,” he said.

The Hockey WA chief executive, Kevin Knapp, also expressed his grief and said the incident would be investigated.

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