Scottish Women & Girls in Sport Week 2022: Exploring the positive impact of team sports for all ages
7th October 2022
For Scottish Women and Girls in Sport week, Helena, reflects on her experiences in hockey and the recent Masters World Cup, where she was part of the women-led management and coaching team that supported the over 35s Scotland women's Hockey team to a brilliant placing.
Hockey has always prided itself on being a fully inclusive sport, not only in terms of gender balance but also in terms of playing age. And they are not wrong, it really is a sport that can be played whether you are 8 or 80.
Many clubs have junior sections with girls as young as P1 starting out on their hockey Junior while of course Scottish Hockey runs national squads from under 16 level to the full representative team.
Beyond that though there is a whole world of hockey for everyone with international competitions at age groups from over 35, to over 65.
This very week Scottish women are being represented in the O50, O55, O60 and O65 age groups in their own world cup tournament held in South Africa, whilst at the recent World Cup for the O35s in Nottingham, I was hugely proud to have helped the squad achieve a magnificent 6th place. Many moments stand out, but the shared joy of our win over Argentina is the sort of experience that can only help other women and girls stay active in their respective sport for as long as possible.
Hockey really is a sport for life across national boundaries, whilst on a personal level being part of such an inclusive environment and being able to play a sport I’ve enjoyed for so long, as part of the wider hockey family is hugely gratifying.
Whilst at home, every Saturday afternoon from September to March across Scotland many thousands of women and girls continue to represent their respective schools and clubs in competitive fixtures, experiencing the benefits of working, winning, and losing, together, as well as the huge positive impact on physical and mental health. Let's recognise and celebrate this, not just this Women and Girls in Sport week but every week.