Olympic stars inspire next generation at Bracknell Hockey Club
Published: 7 Sep 2012 10:150 comments
Helen Richardson and GB captain Kate Walsh, both of Reading HC, brought their medals and experience to a 'back to hockey' session on Wednesday
Around 30 women attended the event, designed to get people playing hockey for either the first time or picking their stick back up after a break from the game.
The session featured a light fitness warm up, basic stick and ball drills, then a possession game.
Speaking at the Birch Hill ground, Walsh said: "I think it makes it more real when you come to clubs and you show the medal and you talk about your experience at the Olympics and it makes it feel special again."
Caroline Apsey, of Bracknell HC, said: ""By the looks of twitter as well as comments on the day, we had a few attend who have picked their sticks up after a six year plus break.
"There are some who have been inspired purely from the Olympics and have picked up their stick for the first time - and then those who have still been inspired even though they have been playing for 35 years."
Walsh added: "I was pleasantly surprised when we turned up. About half the women were here for the 'back to hockey session'
and that was a good number.
"We want to get people playing without the constraints of paying a subscription, paying a weekly match fee, so you can just go and have a knock around."
She said: "The thing I love about hockey is that it's for everybody, from 6-7 year olds to 76 year olds.
"You can play from every level and ability. They've got rush hockey now and the back to hockey sessions have been brilliant to get women back into the game who have been out of it for a while.
"Lots of women have said that it's quite nerve racking going back but once they've had a few sessions they realise why they love playing it.
"As players we feel we've got a very big responsibility in going out to clubs and meeting lots of people- young and old- and say we love this game for these reasons and we want to welcome you into the hockey family.
"It sounds a bit cliche but it is a real family and that's what we felt at the Olympics."
The players had the opportunity to see the medals, Olympic torch, have photos and to ask questions on the pair's Olympic experience.
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