Great Britain’s hockey players enjoyed the company of a very special guest today as Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, joined the men’s and women’s squads at the London 2012 Olympic Park in Stratford.
The Duchess visited the hockey players in her role as an official Team GB Ambassador for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Together with fellow Ambassadors The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, The Duchess will play an active role in supporting Team GB and ParalympicsGB and inspiring young people to reach their full potential in the build up to and during the London 2012 Games.
HRH was welcomed today by Team GB’s Chef de Mission Andy Hunt and Team GB Hockey Team Leader David Faulkner before meeting the captains of the men’s and women’s teams – Barry Middleton and Kate Walsh.
The Duchess, who was captain of her school hockey team at Marlborough College, was introduced to the members of both squads and presented with a bespoke hockey shirt and stick, before taking part in a light training session with a number of players on the newly laid bright blue Olympic hockey pitch at the Riverside Arena.
Team GB London 2012 Chef de Mission and BOA CEO Andy Hunt said: “Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge’s presence at the Olympic Park today has provided Team GB and the sport of hockey with a fantastic boost ahead of London 2012.
“We are very privileged to have the support of our Team GB Ambassadors as we prepare Team GB to perform to the best of its ability at the greatest sporting event in the world this summer.
“The Ambassadors provide our athletes with a tremendous source of inspiration and it was great to see HRH wearing the official supporter’s scarf of Team GB and ParalympicsGB. We hope their involvement helps to spur everyone around the UK to get behind our Olympic and Paralympic athletes to become part of Our Greatest Team at London 2012.”
David Faulkner, Team GB Hockey Team Leader said: “The visit of The Duchess of Cambridge has had a great impact on the players today. She is clearly enthusiastic about hockey and we are very grateful for her support leading up to and during the Olympic Games.
“Both the men’s and women’s teams are aiming to reach the podium at London 2012 and we are putting everything in place to ensure that a successful Olympic Games can inspire the next generation to take up and enjoy hockey as a legacy of the Games.”
Kate Walsh, Great Britain Women’s Hockey Captain said: “It was brilliant to have The Duchess of Cambridge here today to share her knowledge and passion for the sport of hockey with us. She also demonstrated some real skill and talent on the pitch, so we will all be training extra hard to ensure we keep our places in the squad!”
“It is our ambition to make the whole country proud by winning a medal in the Olympic Games this summer. We are currently ranked fourth in the world and hope the enthusiastic support of the home crowd can push us on to achieve our goal.”