35th challenge completed – Hockey

Played in a hockey tournament this evening after rushing back from Liverpool. Lost both games, but I scored one and set up two.

I’ve been attending sessions at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre throughout 2016 and the format of drop in sessions (for only £6) has been perfect for me and an excellent way of getting people into team sports who can’t commit every week.

Tonight was the first round of league matches, which are apparently taking place throughout the spring and summer. With work and Ealing 10k commitments, I’m unable to make any of the next 4 sessions, but I’m definitely keen (depending on availability) to have another couple of matches and see if I can be part of a winning team!



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Hockey at the Olympic park

This evening (7th Jan) I had my first session of Rush hockey at the Olympic park. Rush hockey is a 7 a-side version of Hockey and is becoming increasing popular in the UK. Surprisingly, having not really enjoyed hockey at school, I really enjoyed it. Part of this I think was down to the set up. There were only 6 of us, mixed ability, and I could definitely hold my own and we spent most of the hour going through drills with the final 20 minutes saved for a fun game. The other great thing about the sessions is that they are pay and play. I can’t make it every week but hopefully I get to a few before the planned matches at the end of March.


Completed my second session last night (21st Jan). There were just 3 of us which gave us plenty of opportunity for coaching covering passing, reverse stick technique, shooting and penalty flicks. All good fun. Can’t make next week’s session but will be attending again in February.


Having completed my 3rd and 4th Hockey sessions, I’m now ready for a mini tournament, taking place on 7th April to complete this challenge. *Tournament was cancelled, so I’ll have to find another date to complete this challenge*

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The plan for 2015

I started 2015 in a way that sums up the new me. Instead of the usual going out on new year’s eve, we stayed in as I prepared for the Serpentine NYE 10k run. In fairness we had spent a week on the road over the festive period and we’d run out of energy come the 31st. My early night was rewarded as I bagged myself a new 10k PB of 43.51.


The first 3 months of 2015 will largely be dedicated to training for the Greater Manchester Marathon and my goal of sub-3.30, although I have found time to schedule the volleyball and rugby challenges.

So this leaves an additional 13 and certainly not the easiest of 13.

The two aquatic sports of synchronised swimming and water polo will prove a challenge. Sychro is not a male sport in the Olympics and water polo is often played at a very competitive level.

Next is basketball, there are plenty of social leagues around London so it should be just a case of finding the time to take part in one.

Boxing, well I’m not particularly looking forward to this one and decided against anything that involves me getting punched. I’ll arrange a training session at some point.

Then comes the three equestrian sports of dressage, eventing and jumping. I’m still not exactly sure how this will be achieved but some sort of course or series of private lessons is probably on the cards.

Gymnastics is another sport split into three; artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline. We have a couple of friends that are coaches so the plan will be to spend a day learning various routines. Hoping to rope in a few others as well.

Hockey in a similar way to basketball has a number of social leagues in London so it should just be a matter of time before I can find a date in 2015 to play.

Modern pentathlon is a combination of:

  • Fencing (completed 23rd Aug, 2013)
  • Swimming (completed 23rd Mar, 2013)
  • Pistol Shooting (completed 2nd Dec, 2012)
  • Cross-Country Run (completed 26th Oct, 2014)
  • Show jumping

Once I’ve completed jumping as part of the equestrian sports this will be complete.

Taekwondo is available in a number of places across London but it would be good to find a proper beginners course and really get into one of the martial art disciplines.

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The Team Sports

For these sports I will be required to take part in a organised competitive match. The challenge for these events will be to persuade the relevant local team to allow me to play for them. I have played beach volleyball and water polo on holiday and I played hockey, indoor volleyball and basketball on the odd occasion at school. Rugby and handball are completely new sports for me, although I am a keen rugby fan.

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