03 March 2020

Former England hockey star Alex Danson-Bennett says it's important to have role models in sport

Former England hockey star Alex Danson-Bennett has revealed how important she believes it is to have role models in sport. 

Recalling the first time she went to watch a hockey game as a child, she told Euro Hockey: "I fundamentally believe that you cannot be what you cannot see.

"When I was 14 years-old mum took me to watch the World Cup qualifiers at Milton Keynes and I remember watching Tina Cullen and Jane Smith and I literally just wanted to be them, play hockey as they did and be a part of an England and Great Britain team. 

"Because of that day I trained hard, had a dream and did everything I could in its pursuit. It feels very strange to me that I could possibly have that influence now, but it is also a great privilege and one I have always taken seriously both on and off the pitch.

"I believe behaviours are infectious and as I have always been influenced so positively I always tried to do the same." 

The 34 year-old recently announced her retirement after suffering a severe head injury in 2018. 

She reflected: "During my career, it was always important to me that we displayed world-leading values as a team and we would always make time for our supporters, volunteers and fans of the game. 

"Now I have retired I hope to stay in the game and encourage young people to play through my Alex Danson Hockey Academy. I plan to share the story of my career and highlight that it is truly hard work, determination and a strong mindset that gives you the best opportunity to succeed."

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