ORCHARD Simon < Back  
Sport Hockey
CGA Australia   
Gender Men
Born 09 Jul 1986
Height1.86 m
Weight 82 kg
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Residence Perth, WA, AUS
Occupation Athlete, Student
Languages English
Higher education Commerce, Journalism/Broadcasting, Public Relations - Curtin University: Australia
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? He began playing hockey at age 11 in Muswellbrook, NSW, Australia, and started thinking seriously about the sport seriously after making his first state team appearance at age 17.
Why this sport? He was encouraged by his parents, who both played the sport.
Club / Team NSW Waratahs: Australia
Name of coach Warren Birmingham [club]; Graham Reid [national], AUS
Preferred position / style / stance / technique Midfielder
International Debut
Year 2008
Competing for Australia
Opponent Germany
Location South Africa
General Interest
Nicknames Orch, Orchy, The Huntsman (fih.ch, 27 Apr 2015; hockey.org.au, 06 Dec 2015)
Hobbies Golf, playing the guitar, listening to live music. (olympics.com.au, 16 Jun 2012; hockey.org.au, 06 Dec 2015)
Memorable sporting achievement Making his international debut for Australia, and winning gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. (olympics.com.au, 18 Jun 2012)
Most influential person in career His father. (Athlete, 04 Dec 2009)
Injuries He missed the 2011 Champions trophy in Auckland, New Zealand, with a knee injury. (theaustralian.com.au, 14 Dec 2011)
Sporting philosophy / motto "Enjoy the moment, enjoy yourself and take the game on. Be the difference." (hockeynsw.com.au, 16 Mar 2016)

"Balance is the one of the most underrated words in a sportsperson's vocabulary. The ability to train hard, but also find time to do the things you love outside of your sport, is essential to optimum performance." (hockeynsw.com.au, 16 Mar 2016)
Awards and honours In 2014 he was the joint winner, with Australia teammate Matthew Swann, of the Curtin University Sportsman of the Year award, and also collected the award in 2011. (unisport.com.au, 10 Jan 2012; life.curtin.edu.au, 27 Apr 2015)

He was named as Australia's Player of the Year in 2011. (jaypeepunjabwarriors.com, 14 Jan 2013)

He was the 2008 Sportsperson of the Year in Maitland, NSW, Australia. (maitlandmercury.com.au, 17 Oct 2012)
Famous relatives His cousin Stephen Holt played hockey for Australia at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. (theaustralian.com.au, 14 Dec 2011)
Ambitions To compete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and to follow a career in broadcasting after hockey. (maitlandmercury.com.au, 14 Oct 2015; hockey.org.au, 06 Dec 2015)
Other information WARRIORS
He played for the Jaypee Punjab Warriors in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 editions of the professional Hockey India League [HIL], and won the 2016 title. "We came so close to winning the HIL in both 2014 and 2015 only to fall at the last hurdle, so it was very nice to finally win and get to hold the trophy aloft." (hockeynsw.com.au, 16 Mar 2016)

With Australia teammates Mark Knowles, Matt Gohdes and Christopher Ciriello, he produced a podcast called 'Naan Up In Here' about their adventures during the 2016 edition of the HIL. "It was kind of a joke that just continued to gather momentum until we had no real choice but to actually do it. We were travelling to India and someone mentioned starting an Instagram page to cover the silly things we get up to throughout the trip, and before you know it that idea had morphed into a podcast. The way we summed it up was that it was a podcast about four fellas and their friends, fumbling their way through the 2016 Hockey India League." (hockeynsw.com.au, 16 Mar 2016)

In 2015 he took time away from the sport to deal with some anxiety problems, and a loss of enthusiasm for hockey. His issues with anxiety began in 2007 and caused him various health and attitude problems throughout his international career before a training ground outburst in 2015 persuaded him to admit he was ill and needed to take a break. "I just couldn't justify everything I was doing, justify that I was good enough. I was so sick of the grind, continually jumping through hoops, being judged, always under a microscope. I took a few months off to try and get myself in a better head space. I wanted to find the joy in playing hockey again as it had become a bit of a chore and I wasn't enjoying it as much as I used to. I also wanted be a better influence on the team, and that was very difficult when I was feeling the way I was." In October 2015, he posted a blog entitled 'My Anxious Life' where he detailed his struggles. He wrote about examples of health anxiety and worries about hockey, relationships and university, to what to order for dinner or what volume the TV was on. He said posting the blog was a difficult decision, but therapeutic, and that he had received good support and feedback about it. After some weeks of contemplation, he decided to return to international hockey and was selected for Australia's squad for the 2014/15 World League Final in Raipur, India. (orch3.blogspot.co.uk, 06 Oct 2015; smh.com.au, 15 Oct 2015; hockey.org.au, 06 Dec 2015; indianexpress.com, 13 Dec 2015; hockeynsw.com.au, 16 Mar 2016)

He has a tattoo of the Southern Cross on his back. (olympics.com.au, 18 Jun 2012)