- Jarrod McGrouther
The Knowles family representing Nepean with pride
AUSTRALIAN'S love their sport. Some say we are a sporting nation. But when it comes to the Knowles family, the saying ‘like father like son’ or ‘like mother like daughter’ was taken very literally. Field Hockey was the trade chosen, and the family has now been either playing or coaching the game for the majority of their lives.
Each handed a stick at age 4, the three siblings from western Sydney, Chantal, Kieran and Ryan, credit their parents for their early exposure to the game. Additionally, the competitiveness of the group has no doubt driven them to the success they have already shared. Ryan, the middle of the three hockey stars, sums it up perfectly,
“Mum and Dad got us involved, we were born into it. We basically spent all day at the local Kingswood field growing up. We are all competitive but it’s fair to say we’re pretty evenly matched.”
Chantal, Kieran and Ryan Knowles are unquestionably elite athletes. Each of the Knowles children have either played or coached at state level, with Chantal now breaking into the Australian over 35’s team. Their hard work and dedication to the sport and the children they now coach is commendable.
If anyone needs proof of the kind of stature the Knowles hold in Nepean, NSW and Australia field hockey, look no further than these stunning facts.
Ryan and Kieran, both now in their thirties, still represent the Nepean area alongside each other, applying their trade for the Penrith first grade side. Additionally, Ryan is the current Head coach of the Western Sydney Academy, Kieran, of the NSW U15’s side. Ryan is also a shadow NSW 35’s player, with hopes of representing his state and country in future years. Chantal is the current front runner in the playing stakes, representing her country at the recent Masters World Cup event, playing in the Over 35’s side, finishing 4th overall. A steely defender, Chantal is also coach of the Nepean under 13’s girl’s side.
With field hockey not obtaining the cult status of other sports in this country, the love of the sport is what keeps the Knowles family passion alive. Chantal, arguably the busiest of the family, spends all but two days in her week at some sort of Hockey related session,
“I currently have Tuesday and Friday away from Hockey, and that’s with four kids at home too.”
Looking to the future, all three Knowles children want to continue playing, but all have aspirations to continue their careers within the coaching ranks. With each having proven success at that level, it is safe to say that the family name will be synonymous with Nepean hockey for some time to come.