Monday, 30 June 2014


We went to see England vs Scotland yesterday. They were playing Under-18’s Ladies Hockey and our neice, Lillie had been picked to play for England. She was very good, the beating heart of the team, always available, always finding space.
It is a fast-moving game requiring the ability to run backwards at great speed  while at the same time, watching what is going on all around you. All the goals came from set-pieces, there are not many scored from open play and although it is fast-moving, I did get frustrated by the number of times the [two] referees kept whistling for infringements and stopped the game. Too many rules?
I think we were the only family that didn’t arrive in a Range Rover Evoque. We were definitely the only family without a personalised number plate. The players have to be self-funded and their kit, their sticks, the cost of their travel from match to match all have to be paid for by their families, which makes it a fairly exclusive sport. I don’t often mix with that layer of society so it was interesting to watch how they behaved and spoke. Every woman stick-thin; every woman with designer dark glasses perched on top of her head; everyone in jeans, the dads as well. No brown or black faces. A huge commitment from the families; I left with the impression that Lillie’s mum does this full-time and fits the rest of her life around it.

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