Thursday, 15 March 2012

Royal Summer Hockey

When hockey finishes in June, there aren't a lot of stories to keep one's attention on a hockey blog. There's the NHL Entry Draft and the opening of free agency, but the majority of the summer is spent filling time with articles that would occasionally rank as fluff. However, HBIC always loves a year that features the Summer Olympics because it means a shot at covering a sport that isn't the most popular in North American. Today, the world got an introduction to field hockey from a woman who knows all about the sport and will be a featured guest at this summer's 2012 London Olympic Games.

The young lady in white above is none other than the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, playing for Marlborough College. She took to the sport early on, and showed incredible talent. She was the highest scorer on the 12/13 year-old team at St Andrew's School in Pangbourne, Berkshire. Her Highness attended the pretigious $35,000-per-year boarding school Marlborough College where she served as captain of the school's field hockey team. The future Queen of England has the background, and she put that skill and knowledge to good use on Thursday when she visited the British Olympic women's team at Olympic Park while promoting the game.

"I was really looking forward to coming here, but now I am here and have discovered I have to play, I am not feeling so confident," Kate said.

While there may have been some doubt in herself as to whether the Duchess of Cambridge still had the gift, there was no doubt when she wired a shot into the goal with a solid shot. The smile on her face was evidence of the love she has for the game.

"She told me that she missed playing as part of a team," British captain Kate Walsh said. "She also told me that she used to hit the penalty corners and you could see that. She got low and her shots were really sweet."

Kate's work on the pitch was caught on camera by The Guardian, and it appears that Kate is enjoying the opportunity to play the game she once excelled at as a teenager.

How cool is that? Honestly, I am very impressed with the future Queen of England because she is so level-headed and connects with everyone on their level. She's as real and honest as anyone in the Royal Family, a great hockey player as the video shows, and I think her presence at the London Olympic Games will be a huge boost for the Great Britain teams.

That being said, Canada's teams did not qualify for the Olympics, so there will be no maple leaf-clad teams playing this summer on the world's biggest stage. HBIC, however, will cover the games throughout the tournament, and I hope to bring you more information about the game of field hockey as the Olympics approach.

The Olympics run from July 27 until August 12, so HBIC will certainly have something to talk about this summer. Catch all the results and chatter from a Canadian perspective right here!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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