Duchess of Cambridge visits GB hockey

Duchess of Cambridge visits Olympic ParkGreat 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.

While most people take the chance to go Back to Hockey in the comfort of their local site, the Duchess chose the surroundings of the Olympic Park and a lesson from the Great Britain team to return to the sport ten years after last picking up a stick.

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.

Andy Hunt spoke about the importance of having The Duchess supporting Team GB and Hockey. “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."

Duchess of Cambridge visits Olympic Park

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.

Duchess of Cambridge visits Olympic Park

Addressing the women's team, the Duchess said: "I really hoped to be here, I would love to see you play in the Games. Now I have seen the set-up and got to see behind the scenes it would be really exciting to come back and see everyone in action.

Duchess of Cambridge visits Olympic Park

"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. The last time I played was 2005, maybe. It feels like I haven't held a stick for 10 years.

Just before taking to the pitch she added, "This is going to be so embarrassing. My brain thinks I can do all these wonderful things but my body just doesn't play ball."  She should not have been nervous at all as she displayed some great skills and scored a goal.

Speaking after the session, 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!”

David Faulkner, Team GB Hockey Team Leader added “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."

More stories about The Duchess of Cambridge visiting Olympic Park and Team GB Hockey:

The Daily Mail - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2115407/Duchess-Cambridge-Kate-Middleton-joins-British-Olympic-team-game-hockey.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

The Telegraph - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily/9145435/Kate-Middleton-shows-sporty-side-on-visit-to-London-2012-Olympic-Park.html

The Sun - http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4197128/Kate-British-hope-Duchess-meets-GB-Olympic-hockey-team.html