I’m finding this update a tough one to write as I was hoping to bring you good news on my selection for what would have been my 3rd Commonwealth Games and my delight in representing England hockey as part of a wider Team England.
Sadly, this year it isn’t to be. Whilst in our last week of preparation, I took a knock to the head in a practice match and have now been ruled out of flying to Australia with the team due to concussion. Unfortunately, the time line isn’t long enough for me to recover and be a certain for performing in Australia, so a decision had to be made, firstly for my health and well-being and secondly for team performance. Coming back from my ankle injury in January, this would have been my first competitive tournament since last July. I have been working hard on getting as fit as I can and building my confidence back on the pitch so I could perform my best hockey at the tournament. I was feeling in a good place and ready to go, so I am absolutely gutted to be missing out on my third consecutive major tournament due to injury again.
It is such an exciting tournament to play a part in and it will be a fantastic spectacle on the Gold Coast, though I will now be watching and supporting from back home with family and friends. Having already received kit due to internal selection, some of the realities aren’t the most ideal, such as giving back your kit bag to pass to a teammate for the tournament, but to be honest it is just as awkward for both parties involved and something as an athlete you have to become accepting of. I know they will wear the kit with the same pride and will enjoy being part of a fantastic tournament.
I was also recently involved in the Commonwealth Games kit launch, a fun photo-shoot and where I realised how hard a models life is! It’s not as easy as it looks but we got some good shots and Team England have put together a great look for the tournament. The lion detail is enlarged but discreet which looks great and there is a strong red colour throughout.
I have very fond memories of my previous Commonwealth Games tournaments in Delhi 2010 and Glasgow 2014. There is a great pride behind this tournament, for athletes and spectators alike and it is humbling to see this resonate throughout England whilst competing away from home. As athletes, it means so much to receive warming messages of support, knowing that you are all back home cheering us on and sharing in the Pride of England, so I am sure the nation will get behind Team England again this year and enjoy this wonderful competition.
After the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games is the biggest multisport event and so one of the best bits is being part of a much bigger team than just the hockey squad. You meet and get to know many other athletes in Team England but also from other sports and countries around the world. The atmosphere builds excitement over the duration and teams really get behind their nations in the athlete village.
In Delhi, we came home with bronze. In Glasgow, we came home with silver. So maybe this could be the time for us to go the whole way. I would have absolutely loved to complete the collection this time around and I will be cheering the girls on for them to bring home the gold medal. As a squad we are building momentum and it will be a great challenge for us. To date we have never won the Commonwealth Games so it would be a fantastic result for us to achieve. Naturally, we always step out onto that pitch to win as a team but we also recognize that we are on a journey as a squad and so we will train and prepare as best we can and always give it our all.
Good Luck girls! Wishing you all the best of luck for a great tournament x
Games schedule (UK time)
5th April – England v South Africa – 5.30am
6th April – England v Wales – 10.30am
7th April – England v India – 12.30pm
9th April – England v Malaysia – 10.30am
12th April – Semi-finals and classifications
14th April – Final and bronze medal matches.