The England women’s hockey team has said it gave them goosebumps when they saw the lioness on the “big screen in the village” as they prepared for their first Commonwealth Games match.
The England women’s hockey team will take on Ghana on Saturday for their first match at the Games.
Team captain Holly Pierne-Webb said she hopes Lioness’s stellar performance at the Women’s Euro will “inspire” her to “replicate some of her success”.
“We saw the lioness as a group during the night on the big screen in the village, and we all went gaga,” she told the PA news agency.
“They are certainly inspiring us to repeat some of our success and achieve something special here itself.”
Pierne-Webb has been playing hockey since the age of eight and remembers paying £1 to play mini-hockey for half an hour when she was growing up.
“From the moment I picked up a stick, I loved it and it became my favorite sport even though I played everything,” she said.
“As a young girl, it was my parents who didn’t let me see any obstacles… So I played on the boys cricket team, I played hockey with the boys and I played football with the boys.
Hockey is a sport in which anyone – no matter your height – you can play it, everyone can fit inholly peerane-web
“I think it’s incredibly important to have equal opportunities because it’s incredible what the power of role models can do.
“Hockey is a sport in which anyone – no matter how fast your height – you can play it, everyone can fit in.”
The hockey star, who was part of the Rio 2016 gold medal-winning team, said the Commonwealth Games “has always been my favorite in terms of fun” and that she enjoys being a role model for new members of the team.
“There are a lot of young people joining the team now and it makes me feel very old when they say that Rio has inspired them and they have looked up to us and looked up to us for many years,” she said.
“And I find that crazy because that’s how I felt when I entered the team.
“I really enjoy the role in terms of passing on a few words of wisdom and helping them settle down.”
Team goalkeeper Maddie Hinch, who was also part of the “Fairytale” Rio Games, said this year’s Commonwealth Games is “a super special” as it will be her last.
“I always look at it as a gold medal that we don’t have yet. We’ve got a silver and a bronze. So for me personally, it’s extra special in the fact that it’s home. How much potential opportunity do we have,” she said.
She added that the lioness has “done an incredible job of inspiring the country to come after her and almost feel part of her team”.
I hope we can make some great performances that inspire just one person to pick up a hockey stick.maddy hinch
“That is something we want to do from a hockey perspective as well. We want people to almost envy not being on our team and almost inspire them to do what we do,” she said.
“It is great at this time that we have brought the women’s sport into the limelight and the Commonwealth Games give us the platform to once again show what we love.
“I hope we can put on some great performance that just inspires one person to pick up a hockey stick.”
England Hockey is in the process of taking several initiatives to encourage greater participation in the West Midlands, including an independent and inclusive grassroots disability hockey program called Flyerz and Muslim Sports in Birmingham to give girls from Muslim backgrounds new opportunities to try. Including partnership with the Foundation. Hockey.