How hockey has helped my recovery from cancer

Tanya breast cancer story
A hockey player from Felixstowe claims the sport helped her recover from cancer returned to the pitch this weekend for her first competitive game since finishing treatment.

Tanya Ruffles, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in November last year, was selected for the Felixstowe Hockey Club Ladies 2nd team for their first game of the season at the start of October, and marked her return with a goal.

The match – which comes exactly a year after she first found a lump – also involved a host of fundraising activities for Breast Cancer Care in her honour, including her team mates wearing pink socks.

The 37-year-old said: “I first started to play hockey so I could improve my fitness and be part of a team. But it has given me so much more.

“My teammates have been so supportive of me during my illness and they have gently encouraged me not to give up.

“When my chemotherapy and radiotherapy finished in July I started training again and I know this was instrumental in helping me recover and get stronger.”

Flelixstowe hockey breast cancer story

Tanya, who runs RB Agency in Felixstowe, is married to Civil Engineer Merrick and is mother to five-year-old Leo, has been part of Felixstowe Hockey Club for three years.

“My teammates are like family,” she said. “They have seen me at my best and at my worst. They have helped me keep a positive mental attitude and to remember how good it feels to win.

“It means the world to me that a year after my cancer story began, I am stood with them all at my side for a battle which is a little more fun to fight.”

Tanya’s team were promoted to the Suffolk premier league in the summer after finishing second in division one last season.

To find out more about the club, including the youth and senior sections, visit