No doubt many of you have heard of or even played water polo, but I wonder how many know of something that was invented in 1954 at Eastney swimming pool that has since gone on to be an international sport?
Octopush is underwater hockey and was created that year by members of the Southsea branch of the British Sub-Aqua Club.
The equipment needed to play is basic, consisting of a wooden stick called a pusher, a 1.2kg covered lead puck and two three-metre metal trays called gulleys that act as goals.
Each team has 10 players, although only six are allowed in the water at any one time. It is a game of tag and when one member of the team runs out of breath he touches another member of the team who takes his place in the pool.
Only a mask, fins and snorkel can be used and a ‘goal’ is scored when the puck lands in the opposing team’s gulley. The game turned out to be excellent training for divers and swimmers.
An addition to what can be worn was introduced when it was found that the swimmers’ knuckles scraped the bottom of the pool, so they can also wear a leather glove of sorts to stop this happening.
Rules for the game were made up in the ground floor flat of 75, Victoria Road South, Southsea.
I wonder if the game will ever make the Olympics?