This year, three people will be elected to the USA Underwater Hockey Governing Committee. We hope all USA UWH members will participate in the election. All current members will receive an “eBallot” to their email. Details will be forthcoming. In the meantime, learn about the candidates!
The candidates for the three open Governing Committee spots are:
Current Club: Minnesota
Katie Konrath began playing underwater hockey on her swim team at seven years old. Three years ago, she heard about the Minnesota team at a Happy Hour, and showed up for the next practice. Despite some changes—the addition of gloves and snorkels, the puck placed in the center of the pool instead of thrown, completely different sticks, and losing her weight and speed advantage over the guys—she still loved it!
If you’re at a tournament, you’ll usually see her, and she loves popping into local clubs when she travels. One of Katie’s goals is to get more people excited about underwater hockey, and to motivate players to develop their skills. She’s particularly proud of how Minnesota is banding together to build the team, and hopes to bring what’s working locally to the national level.
Kat (Search) Kurtz
Current Club: Washington, DC
Kat (Search) Kurtz started playing hockey in 2007 with the University of Illinois and has since been playing with Capital Region Underwater Hockey (aka DC). She played on the US Women’s Elite team for Worlds (Hungary, 2013) and the multi-country development teams for America’s Cup (US, 2012 and Colombia, 2010).
Kat is currently serving on the Governing Committee as secretary and is serving on the US Juniors Steering Committee for Juniors Worlds 2015 in Spain. She would like to see the development of juniors become a priority in the US and hopes to start a Capital Region Juniors team in the next few years.
Current Club: Philadelphia, Penn.
Nicole Mazouchova first started playing underwater hockey in 2006 at the University of Guelph for about 3 months. Shortly after graduating she moved to Atlanta, Ga. in the hopes of finding a club to play. As there wasn’t one, she started to
inquire at Georgia Tech and was met with overwhelming support, starting a club in 2008/09. Since then, she has played in many regional tournaments, took teams to international waters, and played on the US Development team for the
America’s Cup. To say the least, her addiction isn’t cured … on the contrary
it only strengthened over the years. Nicole sees being nominated to the governing committee as an opportunity to take an active role in US Underwater hockey in a very exciting time for the sport. As a sport in the US, we are growing, new clubs are being opened, we are recruiting players and Worlds are just around the corner in 2016. Nicole believes we need to keep up with the new player recruitment, offer a variety of exciting tournaments and keep on the path to improving refereeing, to name just a few. She would like to be a part of the governing committee in order to actively implement your desires and wishes for the sport and keep growing US Underwater hockey.
Current Club: Atlanta, Ga.
Jorge Millan has been involved with underwater hockey since the summer of 2008. He has been a member of Swordfish Underwater hockey, serving as fitness coordinator and player/coach. During his time with Swordfish, Jorge has participated in many tournaments, both with the Swordfish team, potlucks, and with former Swordfish players teams. During tournaments, he has made a point to referee as often as possible and during his tenure with the Governing Committee has been the liaison to the US Chief Referee. Improving the level of refereeing in Underwater Hockey is a priority for Jorge.
Jorge’s vision for underwater hockey is that of growth. He believes the future of any sport lies in the young players who are nurtured into the sport and who grow up to become life-long participants. Jorge would like to develop an approach to start promote the creation of UWH clubs at the High School level as well as supporting U-19 and U-23 male and female teams to attend international competition.
Current Club: San Francisco, Calif.
Gustavo Pesce started playing in 2001 in San Francisco. With other club members he created a charter that established elections for club positions in 2009. He managed the club’s interactions with pool and city authorities, and guided finances and activities, including an annual potluck tournament (since 2008), development programs and local leagues. He is most known for starting and managing a popular children’s program and an annual children’s tournament.
Gustavo’s ultimate goal is to reach 1 million players in the US, with the following goals along the way. Short-term growth: quality events and refereeing, incentives for skillful play and development of new players. Mid-term growth: programs for children, methods to increase skills, dis-incentives to rough play. Long-Term growth: better gear, pools, rules and refereeing, enjoyable game broadcasting, strong fundraising.