BORN RADOMIR BENICKY ON JANUARY 25TH, 1968 in Liptovsky Mikulas, Slovakia (formerly Czechoslovakia), his father, a mechanical engineer, was a runner with the national sprint squad and a state skiing champion. His mother Anna (1948-2011) was a nurse and a district sprint champ. He learned to skate on a small lake in Senec close to Bratislava, then one year he escaped the Communist-controlled country into Austria with his family. They waited there to be picked up by the US, Canada or Australia, the only countries taking political migrants at that time. Preference was given to educated families and Australia put their hand up first. Benicky arrived in Sydney Australia on November 17th 1979 at the age of 11.
The family grappled with the new language and other challenges. A few people in his club and team were "incredibly supportive" in picking him up and driving him to and from training and games. These included Chris Beck, David Crawford, Paul Cheal and his parents, and Wendy Ovenden. His family had little money for the first 5 years, but his parents somehow managed the cost of equipment and training. "There are so many people in Hockey who helped me on so many levels and I'm certainly grateful for the experiences and friendships that I still have to this day. Life would be very different for me without hockey".
He played left wing and his first organised team here was with the Blacktown Flyers in the New South Wales Bantam league. In 1983 he joined the Macquarie Bears and represented NSW in the Tange Trophy (U18) recording the state's first win in 11 years. He tried out and was selected for the 1983 National Junior Team (NJT) in Romania, but did not tour because he was subsequently deemed ineligible at age 15.
"Hockey was absolutely my life", he says and in August 1984, he went to Canada to try his luck. He stayed with the Pollock family and tried-out with the Penticton Knights, but didn't make the cut. He was sent to Williams Lake, then to Dawson Creek and he eventually ended-up in Trail playing for Fruit Valley. In 1984 he represented Australia in the National Junior Team (U20) in Italy at the age of 16, and again in Denmark in 1987. He represented his state in the Brown Trophy and joined the Warringah Bombers winning back-to-back Super League titles in 1990 and 1991, then again in 1994. He won a Goodall Cup for his state in 1992.
Later he returned to the Sydney Bears where he won another Super League title in 1999 and a second Goodall Cup in 2002. He represented Australia 6 times in the National Senior Team — 1992, '93, '94, '96, '98 and 2000 — winning championship medals in 1992 an 1998. He married in 1991 and began to raise a family. By 1995, at age 27, he had a 2 year-old boy named Luke and twin girls, Molly and Laura. He coached all three children in soccer for 7 years, another sport he had also played for many years.
Sometimes sponsored on national and state teams by his own enterprises, including RJ Bagware, today he is a business broker and an owner-operator of businesses in healthcare and pet products. He celebrated 25 years of marriage to Vanessa in August 2016. His son, Luke, now 23 and running his own premium barbershop in Mosman, was an excellent tennis and soccer player in his youth and recently began ice hockey. Twins Molly and Laura were also both great runners through school, they both played soccer at the top level, and both are also hairdressers.
Ross Carpenter, 'Benicky, Rad (1968 - )', Legends of Australian Ice, Melbourne, Australia, http://icelegendsaustralia.com/legends-2/bio_benicky.html, accessed online .