Olympian runs junior clinic
BRENT LIVERMORE could be doing a myriad of other things.
But the 2004 Olympic hockey gold medallist chooses to spend his time passing on his genius to the youth.
And don't they love it.
Livermore ran a two-day clinic with Far North Coast junior hockey players this week where the kids embraced him like a rock star.
Girls squeal, boys inch closer and even the mums line up for a photo with the three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist.
But 34-year-old Livermore remains as humble as pie.
A giant of the sport with 318 international caps for the Kookaburras, Livermore had a profound effect over the 70-odd kids who turned up at Lismore's Hepburn Park to learn from their hockey hero.
Star hockey junior Abby Vantaggiato, 15, treasured the moment.
“We all grew up watching him, and because he is from Grafton we have claimed him as our own,” she said.
“I was really nervous thinking about meeting him but he is so approachable and such a big help.
“Coaches have been trying to teach kids stuff forever and he rocks up and everyone just listens.”
While Livermore is a leader in hockey development, there is still a personal goal he hopes to achieve.
His 318 international games have him just one match behind the Australian record held by former team-mate, Jay Stacy. But Livermore feels he is on the outer.
“I reckon the coaches are starting to look towards the 2012 Olympics which means the younger blokes will be preferred,” he said.
Playing for NSW in the Australian Hockey League, Livermore will have one last chance to impress selectors who will have a close eye on the finals series which happens in Brisbane in August.
“I'd love to play well, get selected, get a fourth Commonwealth Games gold and break the record,” he said.
“But I can't see it happening.”
Now a Gold Coast resident, Livermore is getting an early start on what he calls ‘the transition' from playing to coaching.
“The North Coast is a real hot-bed for untapped talent,” he said.
“Living on the Gold Coast this is a region I can tap into and help inspire the young hockey players and hopefully generate a few that go to the next level.”