How did you get involved in representational sport?
I enjoyed most sports at school from a young age and started playing football and hockey for local teams from the age of 7. It was this additional training and match time that helped put me in a position to be good enough to be selected for school teams.
My stepfather, who had a successful career in England and GB hockey, mentored and guided me to taking up hockey as my first choice sport. I started to play and train 4 to 5 times a week because of how much I enjoyed it. This hard work paid off as I was awarded the captaincy of the school hockey team up to the 1st XI.
What do you enjoy about it?
All sport is a great way to escape away from the pressures of university work, but I especially enjoy the team element which not only leads to your own improvement but your peers too. Playing and competing at a high level encourages me to push myself to be a better player and lead by example, whilst at the same time learning from other talented players.
What do you find challenging/ rewarding about being a captain?
Being a captain is not about being the best player on the team or the biggest personality in the locker room – it is about being able to use your own abilities, knowledge and experience to help guide those around you to get better. It tests your will to be a mentor and a leader, questioning your attitude to helping others succeed over your own personal triumphs. Now don’t get me wrong, this can be challenging when things aren’t necessarily going your way in a game, but when the pieces of the puzzle all fit together and you can see your hard work coming out through others leading to success … you can’t ask for much more than that. However, when it goes wrong you have to take responsibility for your actions and keep the team positive by learning lessons the hard way.
How do you think this experience has changed you?
Despite having senior responsibilities in sport throughout my time in secondary school, being a captain of men’s hockey at City University has been an incredible experience. It has encouraged me to be a better partner to my peers and mentor to others who may be struggling. There are many life lessons learnt in your time as a captain.
Why would you recommend it to others?
I don’t recommend it too strongly in case someone tries to take my spot! Being a captain of a sports team is one of the most rewarding roles for a student as it teaches communication, mentorship and responsibility while still having the joy of playing the sport you love. It reflects well on you inside and outside of Uni. The only caveat – you have to want to do it.