A sport most associated in the UK with girl’s schools and Enid Blyton’s “Mallory Towers” series, any Canadian will tell you hockey is a bloody, brutal and all-round manly and challenging game – serious Olympic hockey players are not ones to be messed with!
GM Chris Penn reports from the frontline!
“Jolly hockeysticks! I have to say, I have never played hockey in my life and if you look at the rather uncomfortable photo of me trying to hit a hockey ball, I think it is clear why. To me it is a bit like golf – without custom made equipment, the standard sized clubs (or sticks in this case) are just not long enough. I hope that you enjoy the ridiculous picture, as to me the stick looks like a cocktail stick against my 6 foot 7 frame. It is fair to say that I will not be picking up the hockey stick for a second time!
Hockey used to always be played on grass, but over the last 30 years or so it is more usual to see the game played on synthetic pitches, which allows a much more regular ball roll. The 2012 Olympics will hail a first in one respect for hockey, as the pitch will be blue rather than green! I am not sure it makes a huge amount of difference, but I could be wrong. The matches last 70 minutes in total, broken down into two 30 minute halves. The venue will be within the Olympic Park in the Riverbank Arena.”