Since the beginning of September we have hit the ground running (quite literally!).
There’s been lots of aching bodies from all the fitness tests, heavy gym programmes, hard hockey sessions and extra running sessions, but this is what it will take if we want to get ourselves physically prepared for tournament hockey, especially when you look at the Olympic Games in Rio where we will be playing 8 matches in 13 days!
First though we have to qualify for the Olympics (unlike London 2012) and therefore training is all geared towards that at the moment. We have the Champions Trophy late November in Argentina where we will compete against the top 8 sides in the world and this will be excellent preparation for next year.
Alongside all the GB training, club hockey has started back up and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying myself playing for Surbiton. We have a really exciting team with some of the quickest attackers in the league and dangerous corner threats. As top of the league we play second place Clifton ladies this weekend down in Bristol and I’m really looking forward to going back and playing my old team!
A couple of weeks ago our Commonwealth team was invited to the Guildhall by the Lord Mayor of London to celebrate Team England’s success at the Commonwealth Games. It was lovely to go along and see some of the other athletes and staff and meet some of the sponsors (especially the M&S women!). I had been asked to do a q&a on stage and it was a real honour to be alongside Kelly Holmes, Zoe Pablo-Smith, Danny Williams and Lauren Rowles, all Commonwealth Gold medallists (present and past). It really is something special to be part of one big team at tournaments like the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics. Having the support behind you from Team England/Team GB and being alongside other incredible athletes can only be a positive thing and a real driving force for the success at these tournaments.
The next month and a half will be equally tough, if not harder. Selection for the Champions Trophy will be up for grabs and we will all be vying for a spot. We have some practice games against Germany in early November, then it’s 3 weeks in Argentina and back just in time to get the Christmas shopping done!