The success of our Great Britain women at the Rio Olympics winning 7 out of 7 games, which could yet become 8 wins of 8, has catapulted hockey into the mainstream media. While Owsley, Richardson-Walsh, Hinch, Quek, Bray, Cullen et al are united by their passion for the game, this great sport has divided views and won new followers, whilst changing opinions of old adversaries.
Hockey is a fast paced and sometimes brutal sport, played with passion, commitment and bravery. However, not all media outlets saw it that way. Over the last week we have seen headlines ranging from “The Moment Hockey Became SOFT” to “Blood, Sweat and Tears”.
Most articles are very short, focusing on the match and the score line. These two articles however, decided to focus on the core of the sport, the players, and what it means to play our beloved sport.
A headline in Australia read “The Moment Hockey Became Soft”, insinuating that hockey players are weak and lack passion as they don face masks to block shots from penalty corners reaching speeds well over 100kmh.
On the other side of the coin “Blood, Sweat and Tears” is a truly inspiring article written by radio presenter and Metro columnist Colin Murray. Murray describes in detail the passion and commitment of players as they come out of tackles needing medical treatment and stitches, only to return to the playing field raring to go again minutes later, even before their blood has been cleaned away from the playing surface.
Only one of these views can be right; tonight the Great Britain women will make history in their first ever Olympic Final, as they take on the powerhouse of the Nederland’s who are looking to defend their Olympic title for third successes games. Tune in and watch history in the making as you make your own mind up on the sport; “Blood, Sweat and Tears” or “The Moment Hockey Became Soft”?