Maidenhead born and bred Ellie Rayer inspires the future generations at three Maidenhead Primary Schools

Ellie Rayer - Maidenhead 2019
Inspiring the next generation to love our sport as much as we do is important.

There is a reason we get out of bed in the morning to play, talk about and enjoy all things Hockey. England and GB Hockey player Ellie Rayer born and bred in Maidenhead headed out to three different primary schools, in her home town, with Emma Fitzgerald from Ascot & Maidenhead School Sport Partnership to inspire the future generations. 

The first stop of the day was St Marys Catholic Primary School. Ellie gave a presentation to the whole school during their morning assembly. She talked about hockey and her career. She explained how she played ALL sports from a young age and how her passion for athletics helped her get to where she is today. During the presentation Ellie showed a short clip of the GB Women’s team, she asked the children how it made them feel. They loved it! It was exciting, fast and amazing…. All the things we feel from hockey every time we play and watch. 

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St Marys Catholic Primary School Berkshire Games, Athletics and Hockey Team with Ellie Rayer.

After the presentation it was time for a Q & A session. The children had some fantastic questions including ‘How hard is Hockey?’ Ellie responded with ‘Hockey is as hard as you want to make it.’ ‘Hockey is a sport for everyone of all ages and abilities.’

‘Looking back, it makes me smile. The first time I picked up a hockey stick I was absolutely hopeless.’ Said Ellie. The children loved their time with Ellie and they found her story incredible. They couldn’t believe she had played so many other sports including Judo and Rugby and is now an international GB Hockey Athlete. 

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The 2nd stop of the day was to All Saints C of E School. Ellie presented to the whole school before heading out to their new ‘Daily Mile’ track opening. The daily mile is an incentive to get children (and staff) to take 10 minutes out of the day to walk or run around the track. Keep your eye out for the article in the Maidenhead Advertiser.

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All Saints C of E School 'Daily Mile' Grand Opening

After the opening the children asked Ellie a few questions. Harry Stock-Hoy asked Ellie (after finding out about her athletics history) if she was the fastest on the team. Ellie said she believes she is but was currently recovering from injury, so it is a tough call. 

The children invited Ellie to go for a jog around the track before Harry Stock-Hoy asked Ellie for a race…

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All Saints C of E School Daily Mile

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Harry Stock-Hoy celebratory finish

After the race and a few signatures Ellie headed to her third and final stop of the day, Courthouse Junior School. 

When Ellie arrived at Courthouse the children were ready for a quick Q & A followed by a coaching session. 

The children loved the session, they got to see Ellie's EuroHockey and Commonwealth Games Medals and ask her all about her hockey career before picking up the sticks. 

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Each player had a stick and a ball and were shown a few basic skills to help them in the big game of bull dog. Skills included passing, roll outs and 3D skills. 

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Ellie Rayer coaching at Courthouse Junior School.

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Overall it was a fantastic day, everyone loved meeting Ellie and hearing about her journey. With nearly 600 children leaving the sessions with a smile on their face and keen to play hockey in the future.