Guest blog from Team Wales Women's Hockey
The Commonwealth Games saw the Hockey Wales Women, with 16 players, enter into Glasgow. This was a great opportunity for the majority of our players to be a professional full time team for 2 weeks. The games didn’t quite go our way score line wise but the performances which we produced as a team were the best yet.
England 2-0 (L)
Austrailia 9-0 (L)
Scotland 2-0 (L)
Trinidad Tobago 4-0 (W)
We ended the tournament ranked 9th with a strong performance and a win at the end of the tournament.
Lucy Bee played a part in this whole experience. The majority of the girls took Lucy Bee to an early morning coffee before weigh in’s and breakfast. Lucy Bee then came along with us to the majority of breakfast, lunches and dinners. We even added it to some smoothies which were from the smoothie bar in the village.
Just to be a part of the Commonwealth Games was an incredible experience for us.......
The village was amazing, mingling with athletes in the largest multi-sport event with around 4,950 athletes from 71 different nations and territories competing in 18 different sports.
The Team Wales area of the village was wonderful, the camaraderie amongst sports echoed the passion and pride of Wales, particularly for sports such as hockey where we don’t get to compete at this level with the volume of professional support.
On occasions we would complete pre activation exercises in the quadrant. At one point Welsh Netball, Hockey Wales and Welsh Boxing were all doing their bit in the Team Wales garden:
This occurred regularly, though afternoon naps often got interrupted from the noises that echoed from the mouths of the boxers and their contact of gloves on their training pads…although we would never complain to them, of course!
The food hall, was of course the best part of the village, open 24 hours with a range of foods and, of course, Lucy Bee joined us at every food hall occasion!
This was, also, the best opportunity to meet and share experiences with other athletes and for some to get a cheeky photo with Usain Bolt, Tom Daley and Louis Smith.
The English Team were situated above us in the village and in good spirits, Team Wales blew up a print of the Severn bridge to separate the two athlete areas, encouraging a contribution/toll fee from all English athletes that left their quadrant and entered into ours!
There were a number of break out areas or recreational centres, which housed lounge areas, tv rooms, play stations, table hockey, table-top football and play stations. A number of the girls were playing FIFA when Prince William dropped in and excitingly for us, he asked the girls if he could play FIFIA with them, casually sitting on a beanbag and challenging the girls!
The closing ceremony was brilliant, with all athletes hiding in a tent waiting for the voice of LULU as indication to sprint out of the tents and head to the stage.
This was followed with entertainment from the 2018 Commonwealth hosts and Kylie Minogue, along with a stage gatecrasher from a member of the Australian Team, which was mistakenly thought to be part of the show until security staff chased her off the stage!
It is very difficult to put into words how amazing the Commonwealth Games was. Representing Wales in the most prestigious event possible, can be described as the BEST experience of my life.
Although a tough tournament it was a great experience for a lot of the younger squad members and the squad as a whole and an opportunity which will never be forgotten.
Sport is truly a life changer, taking people to places they only dream about!
Ria and Team Wales Women's Hockey
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