Christmas this year was definitely preferable to the 2011 edition which involved full outdoor training (Christmas Day and Boxing Day!) as the GB squad were preparing for the Champions Trophy in Argentina. Our diets were so strict back then as we headed into an Olympic year that I can’t remember enjoying a mince pie or a glass of mulled wine at all so it was nice to have a much more relaxed Christmas this year!
Before Christmas the whole GB women’s hockey squad met up to go to the Sports Personality of the Year Awards which was just amazing. It was like walking into a party with all your sporting gods including one Mr. David Beckham (!) and everybody was really relaxed and up for a good time. Even at the after party Sir Bradley Wiggins got on stage and played Wonderwall with Rick Parfitt Junior’s band! I thought Mo Farah might have got into the top three for his incredible long distance double at the Olympics but having said that Bradley, Jessica and Andy fully deserved their awards.
It was very relaxing being at home for three weeks over Christmas doing all the usual things like seeing friends and family, going on long walks and of course eating and drinking. I also managed to get back to Lincoln Hockey Club, my first ever hockey club, to answer a few questions, have lots of photos and sign some kit for the girls and boys. They still have the same coach I had and it was great to take a trip down memory lane and see where it all began. Other than that it was all quite quiet as I have ten exams over the next few weeks and so my head was stuck in books for a lot of the time.
Hockey-wise it was great to take part in the Maxifuel Super Sixes indoor championships with Surbiton Ladies. I could only play in the opening weekend due to my law exams this month and we didn’t start well with two defeats, a draw and a win leaving us perilously close to the relegation zone but the girls bounced back in the second weekend and we only missed out on promotion to the Premier Division by one place - promotion next year is a must! If you do get a chance to go to the Maxifuel Super Sixes Finals at Wembley Arena on Sunday January 27, I’d highly recommend it – it’s such a fast and fun hockey format.
There’s a bit of uncertainty around GB and England at the moment as our head coach, Danny Kerry, has become GB Hockey Performance Director while our assistant coach, Craig Parnham, is heading off to the States to coach the US women’s hockey team. The year following an Olympics is always a chance to try and blood new players and there will be quite a new and untried England squad heading to South Africa in February for the Investec Challenge but I think we’re all excited to see who our new coach is and what fresh ideas he or she will bring to the squad. As far as my own hockey playing is concerned it’s back to training today (thrilled that it’s coincided with a January cold snap!) to help get Surbiton a head start going into the second half of the Investec premier league.
Just a final note to say congratulations to England and GB hockey captain, Kate Walsh who has been elected to the British Olympic Association's Athletes' Commission. She is such a fantastic ambassador for our sport and we’re lucky to have her!
To see how Georgie and her England teammates got on in the Investec Challenge, have a look at our highlights below.
Investec, the specialist bank and asset manager, support women's hockey from grass roots level through to Great Britain – investec.co.uk/hockey