Titch

The hockey team I've played for for 11 years are recruiting and I spoke to a 43 year long member about why you need to join.

Kelly: When did you start playing sport and why? 

Titch: I think I’ve always had an interest in sport from as early as I can remember, particularly in football. I was always kicking a ball around. My Dad used to say “I’ve never seen a girl kick a ball like Maralyn!” (that’s my real name!) 

K: What's your youngest memory of playing sport?

T: I only ever played football in the garden or park with my family. Ironically I didn’t like playing any sport at all when I went to school and used to come up with as many excuses as possible to avoid P.E lessons.

K: What made you start playing hockey?

T: I went to work at the Bank of England when I left school at 18. It was one lunch time during a celebratory drink that I got chatting to one of the secretaries, Mal Davis, who became a very good friend of mine. She persuaded me to come down to the B of E Sport’s Club to watch a ladies hockey match and have a go. I agreed to go and that was it; I was hooked. I have continued to play ever since then, missing only one and half seasons during that time due to having twins.

K: What made you choose goalie? And did you play another position before?

T: Ha-ha, I didn’t choose to play in goal. I started out as a ‘right–inner’ (RI), then ‘right wing’, centre forward…. and gradually played every position on the pitch, finally playing centre-half before having to stop to have the twins. I returned to hockey, as soon as I was fit enough, and some years later I asked if I could try playing in goal as a “one-off”, in a summer friendly game as it was the only position I hadn’t tried. Our regular goalie retired from hockey due to injury and so, as the saying goes...the rest is history. I have no recollection when I became the regular goal keeper but it must be about 20 years now.

K: How long have you played hockey for Bank of England?

T: Since 1974/1975 (43 years!)

K: What keeps you there?

T:I love playing hockey; I love being part of a team (I’ve always been a team player). The B of E Sports Centre has been and still is a big part of my life; it became my second home – if I wasn’t home I would be at the Club. My children spent a lot of time at the Club when they were growing up and they used to take their friends there too. So I have a lot to thank the BESC for.

K: Why would you recommend it to others to join?

T: We are a very relaxed and friendly club. The B of E hockey ladies do take our hockey seriously and we always encourage and support each on and off the pitch - we’re a very sociable bunch!

It’s a way to meet new people and expand your social network. Hockey provides you with a sense of camaraderie with your teammates, as you work together to achieve victory.

K: What's your fondest memory of playing with Bank?

T: To be honest, having played for the Bank for as many years as I have there are loads of fond memories but the ones that stand out for me the most would have to be…… all the life-long friends I’ve made and the team I first joined (we call ourselves ‘The Naughty 9’s’), back in 1974/1975 still meet up on a monthly basis to this day!

Then there were the annual visits to the Thanet Hockey Festival, they were always great fun; drinking to all hours, initiation ceremonies for those new to hockey tours and singing extremely raucous, rude hockey songs with actions to most of them. But we were always on the pitch in time and never missed a game, usually after a full English breakfast.

K: To those who are considering playing but are hesitating, what would you say?

T: Give it a try! I did, and here I am still playing every week. It really doesn’t matter if you haven’t played for years, think you’re not any good or never even held a hockey stick before. If you are interested just give it a go, what have you got to lose?! And it’s a well-known fact that girls and women who play sports have a more positive body image and experience higher states of psychological well-being than girls and women who do not play sports.

K: How do you see the state of women's sport now and where would you like to see it? 

T: Women are far more visible in sports today than at any previous point in history. However, media attention to women´s sport in general is extremely low in comparison to men’s. Research shows that 57% of men and 55% of women stated that they are more interested in women’s sport now compared to two years ago. So with this in mind I am hopeful that women’s sport will be equaled to men’s in just a few years and not only with abled men and women, but also with coverage of the Invictus Games showing equality for all through the media this year was good to see.

K: What would you say to the young sportswomen out there? 

T: Playing a team sport can be especially beneficial for young sportswomen. It can help teach you to set aside your personal desires in order to help the team. You can also learn that hard work and perseverance can help you achieve your goals and dreams which is a valuable lesson to carry throughout life. It has made a big difference to me not only in sport but in all walks of life.

If you would like more information about the team, you can either email us at ladies@halftimelondon.com or contact the team captain, Helen, at harmstrong24@gmail.com

And as always, if you or someone you know have an incredible story like this one, do not hesitate to contact us- we are here to speak with people like you!

Kelly Macbeth Mackay