Why I love … hockey

Ruth McDonagh says there’s a great social aspect to playing the sport

Ruth McDonagh in action for Bray Hockey Club

Ruth McDonagh in action for Bray Hockey Club

 

I am 37 years old and I’m proud to say I’ve been playing hockey for 30 of those years. I began playing in school and today I’m involved not just as a player but as a coach, an umpire, a squad manager, a committee member and a volunteer. It definitely keeps me busy! I am currently playing for Bray Hockey Club Ladies and we train twice a week and play matches on a Saturday. We are also about to start out indoor season, so that means another training session on a Sunday. 

For me, playing hockey and being involved with the sport keeps me sane. My teammates are always there for me and each other when having a bad day, week or month. As a volunteer, I manage the Irish U16 Boys and Leinster U18 Boys squads. This allows me to get involved in the high-performance element of the game, whilst also learning and developing my own skills. There’s a great social aspect to hockey too – it’s a super way to get out and active, but also to meet new people.

Hockey presents plenty of challenges, from the time commitments required and the energy involved in trying to stay fit, but when you go out on the pitch with your club jersey on, playing with your friends and hockey family and score a goal or win that match, it’s all worth it.

If you want to try hockey for the first time or you’re thinking about getting back to playing, check out your provincial association website or hockey.ie for a club near you. All you need is a smile, the willingness to meet new people and maybe a gum-shield and shin-guards!

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