U18 NAGs spend inspirational day with Royal British Legion

NAGs British Legion Centre
As well as continuing to hone their hockey skills, the England U18 Boy’s NAGs team have been developing away from the pitch and recently took part in an eye-opening day with the Royal British Legion at their Battle Back Centre.

The day at Lilleshall NSC began with an inspirational talk from Royal Air Force veteran Naomi, who was diagnosed with a mental health illness that saw her leave the RAF before a road accident just over a year ago saw her fighting for her life with a brain injury amongst numerous others. 

She is now based at the centre and spoke to the squad about a number of topics, including recovery processes, self doubt, self talk and other coping strategies. Although Naomi used them in a slightly different context to the hockey players, these are all skills that the coaching team have discussed with them and are trying to develop. One is that failure is no longer seen as just failure but the start of a learning journey that different people come to at different stages. It provides the bedrock of how communication between players and staff can progress in a trusting mutually respectful way.

Following the talk the players then had the opportunity to watch the veteran’s engage in wheelchair basketball, one of the many sporting activities the centre uses to develop these key life and recovery skills in the students and veterans. They even got to have a race around the hall in the chairs.

The whole squad and management team are extremely grateful for the time the staff and veterans gave us and it is the intention that the squad will do some fund raising between now and when they attend the European championship to donate to the centre in support of the work they do.