The time is now, say Georgie & Helen

Georgie Twigg celebrates a goal for GB

 

Olympic semi final – GB v Argentina, Wednesday 8 August, 8pm

Watch Great Britain v Argentina in the Olympic semi final live on BBC TV, the BBC Sport website or in your nearest Hockey House. Visit www.hockeynation.info to find your nearest Hockey House venue. Simply input your post code and click ‘watch’. If you're in London, why not visit the International Hockey House at the Grange Hotel St Paul's.

Georgie Twigg (pictured above) was just five years old the last time Great Britain’s women reached an Olympic semi final.  She was just two when GB won their only Olympic medal, bronze at Barcelona 1992.  Now, ahead of GB’s first Olympic semi final in 16 years, the 21 year old from Lincolnshire hopes that she and her teammates can live up to the London 2012 strap line, Inspire a Generation.

“It’s fantastic how this [the Olympic Games] has really attracted more attention for hockey,” says Georgie, with the excitement evident in her voice. “We want to inspire more people to get out there playing hockey. It’s such a fantastic, fast sport. If we can inspire new generations of hockey players that’s just a brilliant thing for our sport. We just want to get more and more people involved because it’s really important...just get out there and pick up hockey sticks.”

Her own inspiration growing up was a certain Helen Richardson. The three times FIH World All Star Team midfielder left an impression on the young Georgie and now the pair are set to enjoy a “great battle” against the World Champions Argentina.

“I can still remember Helen turning up when I was playing for Midlands. She turned up to coach. She was the hockey player that I looked up to when I was younger. Helen is such a key player in our team, she is a role model to everyone out there, she’s a leader on the pitch and off the pitch. Her skills are absolutely phenomenal – she could dribble around probably everybody on the team and she’s so calm and focused on the pitch; she never looks phased by anything.”

Helen Richardson celebrates a goal for GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games

Both Georgie and Helen (pictured above) look forward with heightened anticipation to the Olympic semi final and both acknowledge that the Riverbank Arena crowd will likely play its part if success is to come their way. 

“We’re really looking forward to getting out there,” says Georgie. “Having the 16,000 British fans is just fantastic. They’ve been brilliant throughout this whole tournament so getting out there, playing in front of this home crowd and having them behind us to spur us on; it’s going to be a great game. We know it’s going to be a tough match against Argentina but it’s going to be a great battle and hopefully we come out on top.”

In seven times World Player of the Year Luciana Aymar, their captain, Argentina have their own key player and role model who is arguably the best hockey player of all time, as Helen explains.

“She’s incredibly important to Argentina,” says Helen, who is competing in her third Olympic Games. “If she’s playing well they tend to play well. We’ll have a big role to play on her. If we do stop her then it does make our life a little bit easier however they’re not just a one man team, they’ve got talent throughout the ranks. We’ll have to play very well to beat them; it’s the semi final of the Olympic Games! We will have to play well, we’ll have to play better than we did against the Netherlands but we’ve definitely got the game plan to do it, we’ve got the players to do it and having the backing of the crowd will be amazing. The time is now for the team to take stock, take a big deep breath.

“We’ve got to the semi final - that was our first goal - now we need to really refocus the mind, recover well and go into that game full of confidence, positive, knowing we can do the job.”

Georgie began playing hockey at Lincoln Hockey Club while Helen started at West Bridgford in Nottinghamshire.  Give Hockey a Go! Visit www.hockeynation.info to find your nearest session.