Kate Walsh Talks All Things Hockey in 2012

Kate Walsh Profile InvestecAhead of the Olympic Test Event (2-6 May) and Investec London Cup (6-10 June) GB Captain Kate Walsh gives us the latest insight into Team GB Hockey.  She reflects on meeting HRH the Duchess of Cambridge at Olympic Park, a visit to watch Tottenham play thanks to Investec's sponsorship of the Team and the team's grueling fitness testing.

It’s been an eventful month for the GB women’s hockey team. We had the treat of a lifetime last week as we hosted the Duchess of Cambridge at Olympic Park. She met all the staff and players before picking up a stick herself and having a few shots at goal. As many of the team are fashion addicts there was much to talk about, especially her coral jeans! On a more serious note, it’s great for Team GB to have an active Olympic ambassador and particularly one with such a love of hockey. We very much hope it inspires many of you to go out and join your local hockey club or find a Rush Hockey site near you.

HRH Duchess Cambridge with GB Women's Hockey Squad at Olympic Park

Thanks to our sponsor Investec we also had the pleasure of watching Tottenham Hotspur play Stevenage at White Heart Lane. We got to sit in a box and all received a personalised Tottenham shirt. The real treat was to go down onto the pitch for a half-time interview. As you can imagine, Spurs fans Helen Richardson and Chloe Rogers were in their element sitting in Harry Redknapp’s seat whilst he was doing his half-time team talk!

Investec - Tottenham Match - Team GB Women

Hockey isn’t always fun and games. In a practice match against USA I took a stick to the crown of my head and had to have 6 stitches and some hair shaved, unfortunately. The photos looked pretty serious, but thankfully there was no concussion and I was able to play the next game; with a blister plaster of all things protecting my stitches!

We’ve also completed another round of fitness testing; our third of four this season. It consists of an aerobic test, which is similar to the bleep test, sprint testing, repeated sprints, weights, body composition and jump tests. Testing is completed over a week and fits in around our hockey and strength and conditioning sessions. The squad as always put their noses to the grindstone and produced some fantastic results; with improvements seen across the board. It’s at times like this that I’m so proud to be captaining this amazing group of young women who give their all in the pursuit of our dreams.

Crista Cullen, Sarah Thomas, Kate Walsh and Georgie Twigg celebrate a goal for Great Britain at the 2012 Champions Trophy in Rosario

Kate and the Great Britain team will be in action at the Investec London Cup, 5-10 June, in Chiswick.  Find out more and buy tickets to cheer on GB at www.greatbritainhockey.co.uk/investeclondoncup.

The above piece appeared in Manchester Evening News as part of a Column Kate writes for the newspaper.