'Being the host nation is ideal'

Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre

Home advantage in the Hockey Champions Trophy is ideal for the Great Britain teams, according to our nation's captain.

Kate Richardson-Walsh is aiming to lead the women's team as far as possible when the event takes place in east London in June, and with a huge summer of hockey ahead of us, it's perfect to be on home soil.

Kate said, "It's ideal, we're so lucky to be the host nation.

"First of all, teams are coming to us when we've got no travel involved, we know Lee Valley inside out and then we're back at our base very quickly. Other teams are doing long-haul flights, and that's stressful on the body, so we're very fortunate."

In Kate's view the competition has taken on added significance in recent years, thanks mainly to the increased quality of teams on show. The competition is being billed as 'the best of the best,' a strapline she fully agrees with. "When I started playing, sometimes there were gaps betweens teams, but now it's really competitive and any of the teams could win it, which is great for women's hockey."

Crucially, GB go into the event in fine fettle and with some very good preparation under their belts so far. "The home nations have all done well recently, so when it comes to GB, there's a really positive feeling permeating through. We've had a lot of good test matches, a very close series out in Australia against a fantastic side, and then Japan, Belgium, India and now Holland which is all good preparation."

The men's Champions Trophy runs from 10th-18th June, with the women's competition taking place from 19th-26th. Tickets for under 18s begin at just £5, while adults start at only £25 - click here for more.