As a keen hockey player at school I have wanted to get back into the game for a number of <<cough>> years now.
Being nervous or afraid of the unknown is always a good but slightly poor excuse for not doing things, but having heard about the England Hockey “Back To Hockey” campaign (http://goo.gl/6dRrCU) at work for some time, I was intrigued to find out more about it but I was still yet to pluck up the courage to travel the half mile from home to see what actually goes on there.
Chatting with another Mum whilst duly watching our children at yet another after school sports class, we got onto the subject of hockey and how much we both enjoyed it at school.
“Ahh, I loved playing hockey, shame there’s nowhere for people of our age to play that also haven’t played for years.” She said.
“Ha funny you should say that,” I reply, “England Hockey run a Back To Hockey session, anyone, of any age and ability can get involved, fancy it?”
I’m not sure if it was panic or amusement on my friends face at the speed of my response, but as the children’s lesson had ended we went our separate ways, I’m pretty sure she thought that was the end of that. But I wasn’t missing the opportunity of going and with backup! I emailed the local hockey club as soon as I got home, and within a couple of hours I had a reply with all the details about the session and a friendly invitation to come down and give it a go.
This email I forwarded to my ‘other Mum’ (aka Mum A) who probably by now felt she couldn’t back out, but I like to think that she was spurred on by my enthusiasm. She agreed to come down with me the following Wednesday to see what went on at the hockey club.
Wednesday arrived and my nerves were beginning to get the better of me (& it was v cold!), but I received another lovely email from the hockey club saying how they’re looking forward to us coming down and that there was kit we could borrow if we had none.
I messaged a group of friends telling them what I was up to that evening, all replied telling me to go for it. Three even wanted to join me! Unfortunately due to commitments all but one was unable to. The third (MumB) agreed to come along.
Mum A dropped out last minute due to the dip in temperature (but has absolutely promised to come along when it gets warmer), so Mum B and I met in the car park and went in together. Immediately welcomed by club members who offered us kit, explained the structure of the session and pointed us in the direction of the group warming up.
What an evening!!! Superbly organised! So busy! Who knew?! Juniors leaving the pitch following an earlier session; mixed team and ladies team warmed up together, then divided up for practice, sequences and mini games. The atmosphere was reminiscent of school but as I absolutely loved games lessons this was not a bad thing in my eyes. The atmosphere was so friendly and no one seemed to mind that we were more than a bit rusty. I cannot wait until next week!
My only regret is that I put off going along in fear of meeting an unfriendly clique who would ridicule me for being old and unfit. I couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Oh and I remembered why I loved this game many moons ago. It’s because it’s blooming awesome!
As Sport England say #thisgirlcan. And this girl will.
Learn more about Back to Hockey by visiting http://www.englandhockey.co.uk/backtohockey and see all the daily twitter activity by following the hashtag #backtohockey, you might even see me!
Written by Kirsty Bishop