I sat down with some of the Hockeyroos stars to learn a little more about them and what life is like on tour. Check it out
What’s the difference between hockey tournaments in Holland and in Australia? EMILY HURTZ
The support of the tournament goes beyond the hockey field. The whole city is involved!
The Haags Hockey Plein set up in the centre of the city is a space where they run events and activities each day of the World Cup including mini games, fitness classes, and clinics for school kids. There is a big screen showing all the games and it is all surrounded by restaurants serving local cuisine.
The competition itself is huge but it is all the activities outside of the event that make is such a success. Schools, hockey clubs, businesses and members of the community have all be included and encouraged to get involved. This all adds to the experience as a player.
The stadium set up is visitor friendly with a huge range of stalls showcasing various products and giving sponsors and brands an opportunity to sell and gain exposure from the event.
Using a soccer stadium with 15,000 capacity has allowed for fantastic atmosphere as even with a small number in the crowd the acoustics make it feel like it’s full. They play music, have cheerleaders and huge screens which all add to the viewing experience. Apart from the Olympics most hockey players won’t get to experience a bigger hockey event. Having the men and women playing in a World Cup in Holland is a once in a lifetime experience for us as players.
What do you miss most while on tour? EMILY SMITH
Being independent. I miss being able to do every day things like catch up with friends or go out for meals. While on tour we have daily schedules that tell us when to eat, what time we train, meeting times, etc. The whole day is planned out. You do of course get to use the spare time however you wish but it is dependent on what is within walking distance.
Most meals we eat are buffet style at the hotel. This does give you some choice but if you feel like something in particular that day normally you would just cook it but on tour this is not possible. Luckily I’m not too fussy with pre game meals so happy to make a sandwich or a wrap which is most often available.
How do you make use of social media? GEORGIE PARKER
Facebook: Selfies do not belong on Facebook. Here I would put up things I want my friends to see like updates on our results, etc.
Twitter: Post pictures, updates, and jokes. Here your word limit is restricted so it’s all the wit! Puns are also great for twitter. One must use their words wisely
Instagram is where the best photos go. You can’t zoom in on insta so knowing this helps choose your pic. A selfie can go here with appropriate filter & hashtag for example #abs #fitspo #hashtag #cleaneating #selfie #duckface #sorrynotsorry. Usually I try and tag Anna Flanagan in my posts as this helps to gain more followers (joke).
Snap chat is friends only and all the photos that are never to be seen again. Never any nudes but plenty of bad angles, double chins and picking noses. The video option I use for ‘my story’ and only for very funny occasions
What was it like to face a stroke in game 2 of the World Cup? ASH WELLS
I felt agitated about the call initially but after the referral was denied I was able to re-focus. I once tore my hamstring trying to save a stroke in a game against Anna Flanagan so always have that in the back of my mind when facing them. We practice them in training but they occur less and less now that one on ones are used to decide games rather than strokes. The stroke itself was quite unique. The whistle blew and the girl paused…..for a long time! I felt balanced but the longer she took the more my weight slightly shifted. It may have been mind games, who knows. She flicked low into the bottom corner and it clipped the back of my foot. Always disappointing to let in a goal but realistically a stroke should always be scored!
Tell us about on tour beauty school. ANNA FLANAGAN
My hair routine involves straightening pre game or curling for functions. My room mate Karri is team braider and fish tailer so we often have girls coming in to get that done. I usually provide most of the beauty products on tour including makeup, hair accessories, straightener, ribbon, eye lash tint, nail polish, and bobby pins. When it comes to nails I like green and gold shellac nail polish or standard pink.
Beauty prep starts an hour before leaving but this does include showering, dressing and dancing to pump up songs. I stick to this routine so that once I leave for the ground all I have to focus on is hockey.
Movie watching on tour. KARRI MCMAHON
At four weeks into the trip my current movie tally is sitting at 34 movies and one full TV series (season 1 house of cards). My usual routine is one before bed, one or two on a rest day and if time permits one before the game. Night time themes are usually Romantic comedy or drama with favourites being Billy Madison, Too fast Too furious and 27 dresses. Pre-game varies a bit. Before a big game usually a relaxing light hearted movie or if I need a little lift maybe an inspiring sports movie like Coach Carter or Remember the Titans.
What has it been like having your boyfriend and family here watching? KELLIE WHITE
It’s really nice to have family here to take your mind away from all the hype, the media and to make you feel some sense of normality. Having them in the stands makes me want to do them proud. Knowing they are here and others watching back home gives me that little extra push. It’s also nice knowing they are having a great holiday and a new experience while they are here. It gives me a good feeling knowing I can give back a bit by creating the opportunity for them to have a fantastic time overseas.
7. What has it been like watching from the side? MADONNA BLYTH
* Ever since debuting Donny has played almost every game of every tour. The one exception to this has been World Cups.
In 2006 in Spain I missed two or three games (including the semi-final) due to a hammy issue. In 2010 in Argentina I had a small tare in my knee and although I was able to play through the pain and participate in every game I felt it was very detrimental to my performance. Now in 2014 in Holland I had a scan on the day of the first game that showed a small tare in my calf. Not playing the first two games was difficult. I enjoy watching hockey generally but not when I could be out there contributing. I was confident we could win but found it frustrating I couldn’t get out there and do my job. It was stressful to watch. It gave me a good perspective of how our staff feel as you can have an influence but at the end of the day it’s the players out there who decide the result.
What creature comforts do you take on tour? ASH NELSON
A large supply of movies and TV shows is a necessity. The current trend amongst the group is Game of Thrones and I am in charge of getting hold of current episodes. When packing I often choose to forgo uniform to make sure my Ugg boots fit. Books are also required as my New Years resolution for this year is to read a book a month so 2 books were brought away on this tour and one has been read so far. To harness my inner nerd I always pack a cryptic crossword. Tea and coffee is a crucial part of each day on tour so wherever I go I buy an ugly keepsake mug. Hotels often have tea cups which are too small so a large cup is very important. Favourite cup would be from South Africa this year which was completely gold but there have been many memorable mugs along the way.
Currently at the World Cup we are sitting on 9 points after 3 wins out of 3. A fantastic start to the tournament!! We have Holland and New Zealand left to play then its finals time. I’ll be sending through more updates along the way so please keep watch. Thanks for the support