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England siblings Hannah and Harry Martin are looking forward to competing together at Gold Coast Photo: FIH/WSP

England's Hockey Family ready for Gold

April 3, 2018

The Commonwealth Games are also known as the ‘Friendly Games’ but there is an argument they could also be termed the ‘Family Games’ as a number of siblings and other family members are preparing to compete alongside each other in their nation’s colours. 

In the case of England Hockey, the Martin family will be glued to the screen as brother and sister Harry and Hannah both chase gold medals, while the Pinner and Hunter families will be watching as married couple George Pinner and Jo Hunter also seek a double victory. 

“The hockey venue is looking incredible, and there will certainly be some atmosphere when it is full. I’m just very excited to get going!”
Hannah Martin, England 

Both sets of families have been through the emotional rollercoaster that comes with having elite athletes competing in major internationals before. At the Rabobank EuroHockey Championships in 2017 both Harry and Hannah and Jo and George competed, bringing home bronze medals all round. Now they are looking for Commonwealth Gold to add to the family trophy cabinets. 

We caught up with 22-year-old Hannah, who has been a silky-skilled sensation in the 24 matches she has played so far in the England senior shirt. She scored one of the goals against Germany that brought home bronze from the Rabobank EuroHockey Championships and is looking forward to another good tournament on the Australia Gold Coast. 

“We are all settled into the village, and have had a good few training sessions on the competition pitch,” says the speedy midfielder.

“The hockey venue is looking incredible, and there will certainly be some atmosphere when it is full. I’m just very excited to get going!” 

Since the England team landed it has been a non-stop whirl of on-pitch training, gym sessions and meetings. Coach Danny Kerry is renowned for his attention to detail so this is no surprise, even to one of the youngest members of the squad. 

“Preparations are definitely in full swing, we have managed to fit in a lot; gym, training, meetings. All of which are ensuring that we are in the best possible place mentally and physically come our first pool game against South Africa.” 

Brother Harry, who is four years older than Hannah, is a veteran of the England side. He has competed in two Olympics (London 2012 and Rio 2016) and has proven an inspiration to his sister over the years. “It is really special to be competing at the same event as Harry. I have watched him in all these major tournaments over the years, so being able to compete alongside him is something I will always treasure.” 

While a gold at the Commonwealth Games is the immediate target for both England men and women’s teams, there is also the question of the Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup in London in July and the Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup, Bhubaneswar in November. Martin is not allowing herself to look too far ahead. 

“We will just be taking it game by game, focusing on putting in good performances and hopefully the results will speak for themselves. It is brilliant that we have the opportunity of competing at the Commonwealth Games, playing different hockey nations in terms of style/tactics etc. to perhaps the European sides we play on a more regular basis. 

“We are looking forward to embracing the challenges of the Commonwealth Games, and with a home World Cup coming up in the summer, we are excited to continue developing and making strides as a squad."

England women play their opening match at 2:30 local time against South Africa on 5 April, England men face Malaysia at 9.30am local time on 6 April.

Tickets for some matches at the XXI Commonwealth Games are still available. Click here to find out more.

#CWG2018

 

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