Some hobbies come and go and life changes at a rate of knots for sure. 35 years ago as The Bugles recorded Video killed the radio star, I picked up my hockey stick for the first time and it was definitely love at first play. Whilst the game has changed considerably since then, rules changed, kit changes etc my love for the game is probably at an all-time high.
Why does hitting a hard ball around a pitch on a wet Saturday afternoon and training every week still hold its appeal? Still frequently getting bruises and regular stitches to the head, yes I still love it and it's predominantly down to the team I play with and the camaraderie that goes with that. I see my team mates as an extension to my family, my closest friends and people I have shared so much of my life with.
I have been lucky enough to play at a high level throughout my hockey career, representing Dorset and the West as a youngster and playing National League at the peak of my career. More recently however, I have been playing for the 2nd team with some of my team mates from the 1st team of 20 years ago. During the past 35 years, I have played with some amazing players who have gone on to play full England hockey. I've also had the honour of playing alongside some incredible role models who have taught me how to lead teams, treat people, motivate and communicate with others. I am still playing with my first captain way back when - she is still a force to be reckoned with and my biggest inspiration.
On so many levels hockey has been so much a part of my life, from the endless hours of training to the miles I have travelled playing matches - there have been many sacrifices along the way. However, I would not change it for the world and the game has taught me so much. Being part of a team and all the dynamics that come with that I draw on almost daily in my work as MD at Rockley. At Rockley we have an amazing team and I am so proud to be part of a team who embrace challenge and opportunity with open arms and work tirelessly for each other to ensure that our customers receive the best experience possible.
I am competitive beyond belief (much less now than younger) and always set some form of physical challenge each year, from half marathons to triathlons. At the age of 45 I have found myself probably fitter than I’ve been for 20 years and playing some of the best hockey of my life. As a result of this I decided to put myself up for selection for the England Masters over 45s Team. After months of training and several trials later, I was so delighted to hear that I have now been selected to represent England, a dream I have had since I was 15 when I was almost selected for the under 16 England Squad.
My journey thus far has taught me more than anything to never give up on my dreams
and if you want something bad enough, you can make it happen.
I have been incredibly lucky to have the support of Peter and Lis, the Owners at Rockley, who have always encouraged me and regularly sponsored my club team. I am always delighted to see Rockley t-shirts running around at training!
So, as I now enter this new chapter of my hockey life, once again Rockley is continuing to support me and the rest of the Masters Over 45 team during this coming International season in their build up to the World Cup in Barcelona in July. We have our first friendly fixture next weekend and various training sessions in the build up to the Home Nations Tournament in June, before the World Cup in July. My journey thus far has taught me more than anything to never give up on my dreams and if you want something bad enough, you can make it happen.