Former Australian hockey captain Mark Knowles was a popular visitor during coaching sessions with Ipswich Girls' Grammar School students.
Former Australian hockey captain Mark Knowles was a popular visitor during coaching sessions with Ipswich Girls' Grammar School students. Rob Williams

Ipswich captain shares 'amazing' time with Aussie leader

IPSWICH Girls' Grammar School hockey captain Sarah D'Castro was among the young players who appreciated spending time with Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Mark Knowles.

Preparing for a new school season, Sarah said Knowles' coaching clinics were valuable and timely.

"It was fantastic,'' she said. "It was amazing just watching him hit the ball.''

Having played for Wests in the Ipswich competition, Sarah was one of the more experienced students in the group.

The year 12 IGGS student has been playing in the open teams for the past few years.

However, she was impressed with Knowles' approach to young people of all skill levels during the sessions at IGGS' hockey fields at East Ipswich.

"He helped us do the different drills and one-on-one tackling and different ways to do our dragging and things like that,'' the fullback said.

"At the end of the session, we had a Q&A and he told us about nutrition and different skills we can try out and how to do them.''

A highlight for the students, teachers and parents was getting to hold Knowles' Commonwealth Games medal and take some photos.

That provided a boost for everyone at IGGS.

The next QGSSSA school season starts on July 16, with IGGS students about to step up their pre-season training and trials.

Among IGGS opponents in coming weeks will be Brisbane Girls' Grammar, Brisbane High, Moreton Bay College, Clayfield, St Aiden's, St Hilda's and St Margaret's.