GB women’s team look sexy to gain press coverage

team gb photo shoot

GB Women’s hockey team members have taken part in a photo shoot on behalf of their sponsors Investec (see still from photo shoot above). It appeared here in Telegraph Sport. The article also has lots more interesting information and stats about hockey and the GB team that make it well worth reading.

But should women hockey players don spectacularly high heels, crop tops and make-up to gain some coverage for the sponsors – or is this simply sexist stereotyping? Women’s sport has barely any coverage in the British national papers and women’s hockey virtually none. I frequently pick up the sports sections of a UK paper and there’s not a single image of a woman in there. Yet, here are the team getting full coverage just because they are dressed up and looking pretty.

Perhaps it wouldn’t matter so much if they achieved more regular coverage for their sporting abilities. However, the last time I saw a picture of a GB women hockey player in the paper it was Kate Richardson-Walsh with her broken jaw at the 2012 Olympics.

I went to the Rabobank hockey world cup in 2014 which seemed a big sporting deal to me – although as a hockey fanatic I may be biased. I missed the final few matches and looked for coverage of them in the British press.

All I could find were a few side-bar news in brief pieces. Hardly any coverage at all – let alone pictures of hockey players. Let alone pictures of women hockey players. Would have been nice to have seen a report and image of the women’s final.

I feel disappointed that these amazing women are forced to glam up and teeter around in ridiculously high heels to gain coverage for their sponsor. I’d like to see more images of them in their sporting kit and in action. Apparently, Richardson-Walsh would rather see images of sports women in action and wishes they didn’t have to pose for sexy pictures to get attention.

What do you think?

Test yourself on field hockey rules

The rules of hockey can be confusing – especially when club level umpires often don’t seem to understand them either! I’ve just had the frustrating experience of confusing umpiring at summer league. I’m not an umpire so I may have this wrong (do please correct me in comments if you know the correct ruling) – however, most of us figured we were robbed of a goal.

Our attacker scored a clean top of the D goal in a seven-a-side match. Her feet were mostly outside the D but the ball was definitely inside. We figured it should be a goal, but the umpire didn’t allow it because she was outside the D.

Admittedly, summer league umpires are volunteers, often learning (although I have it on authority this one was supposedly fully experienced). Harumph! We lost the match one nil because our disallowed goal meant we didn’t get a draw.

England Hockey has a reference site for anybody wanting to brush up on the rules.

You can study the rules and watch videos showing how they might be applied during play. There’s also an online test to check your knowledge.

Jink steal – nifty elimination move to take the hockey ball before a defender even gets to it!

Watch out defenders  – be very afraid! Here’s an effective, new elimination move for a skilled attacker.

This is a handy little move if you want to take the ball off a defender, jinking it over their stick and into the space behind them.

The coach in this clip is Redcliffe Leagues Hockey women’s coach Sophie Nottle.

Your stick needs to be placed over the defenders so you can steal the ball from them – their stick doesn’t even get a touch. The stick position is shown below.

jink steal

if you’re not careful the ball can apparently jink up and into your own feet. The coach explains that to play it into space instead, you need to angle the stick handle into your body. With the handle pointing towards you, the ball will land in the space between the sticks and you can head off towards the goal. Note the feet position – the front foot faces towards goal so you can be ready to explode forward when you’ve stolen the ball!

‘Let the ball do the work,’ says Nottle.

It’s a bit of a tricky move and most likely one for the advanced players among you – but have fun trying. If it works it would be a fantastic, impressive steal – and really annoying for those pesky defenders.

Jamie Dwyer elimination trick

A great hockey tip from Jamie Dwyer, one of the world’s best Australian hockey players. This is such a good way to eliminate an opposition player in the D, but you’d need to keep your calm to do it. This can help unbalance a defender, leaving them wrong footed and leaving you vital space to shoot – and hopefully score.

What’s not to like!