CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Devon Life today CLICK HERE

An interview with GB hockey star Giselle Ansley

PUBLISHED: 09:48 03 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:48 03 April 2018

Giselle giving it everything on the pitch

Giselle giving it everything on the pitch

Archant

England and GB Women’s hockey star, Giselle Ansley, looks back at a whirlwind 18 months since winning Gold at the Rio Olympics and tells Devon Life of her delight at the impact the team’s success has had on the sport

Since making her international debut in 2013, Devonshire girl Giselle Ansley has been a key component in defence for both the England and GB ladies hockey side. Born in Kingsbridge, she was introduced to hockey at a young age, watching her mum from a pitch side pushchair at Paignton Hockey Club.

“I started playing hockey mainly because of my mum,” confirms Giselle. “I used to watch her regularly and I suppose it was only a matter of time before I picked up a stick for myself.

“I was eight when I started at Paignton before moving to Dartmouth Hockey Club and then Plymouth Marjons Hockey Club. I have such happy memories of all my early clubs.”

Giselle Ansley is looking forward to a big year at the forefront of international women's hockeyGiselle Ansley is looking forward to a big year at the forefront of international women's hockey

Now at the age of just 25, Giselle has already achieved what most athletes can only dream of – winning an Olympic gold medal. “Rio was an incredible experience, something I will never forget,” reflects Giselle, who was part of a team that won all eight of their matches in the tournament en route to the gold medal match.

“We had a great support team around us and we were able to create a feeling of togetherness and a winning philosophy that enabled us to be successful.’’

Of Team GB’s 67 medal triumphs at Rio’s summer Olympics in 2016, it was the women’s hockey team that seemed to particularly capture the public imagination. The shootout victory against Holland was watched by around nine million people in the UK.

Giselle has become a crucial member of the successful England Women's Hockey TeamGiselle has become a crucial member of the successful England Women's Hockey Team

Giselle recalls: “We were in something of a bubble out in Brazil and we had no idea how many people back in the UK had been watching our games on TV. We only really became aware of how much it meant when we landed after the games and it seemed as if the whole of the airport had stopped to welcome us back.

“There were loads of kids with hockey sticks and team shirts and that’s when it struck what an impact our victory has had.’’

Eighteen months on from their victory and England Hockey are still reaping the rewards from the team’s success. Over 10,000 new players have been inspired to pick up sticks and join hockey clubs since the team won gold at Rio 2016 and the total number of young girls in hockey has doubled since 2012.

Giselle Ansley is looking forward to a big year at the forefront of international women's hockeyGiselle Ansley is looking forward to a big year at the forefront of international women's hockey

“To see the impact the team’s success has had on the sport and to see the number of youngsters now playing the game it makes our achievements even more special,” says Giselle.

“Hockey has given me so much, it’s the best sport in the world. I would love for the next generation to experience what we have.”

The team had to settle for a bronze medal when defending their Euro Hockey Championship title in September. Bronze means Great Britain or England have won at least one major medal in every year since 2009, a feat Giselle and her team mates are very proud of.

Giselle giving it everything on the pitchGiselle giving it everything on the pitch

“We lost a lot of experience through retirement post Rio. Obviously, we were disappointed to lose in the semis but there are plenty of fresh faces in the squad who had never played tournament hockey at the top level before, so to pick up a medal was a great achievement. There are some really exciting young players in the squad who will learn a lot from the experience.”

The tournament was a particularly significant one for Ansley, who passed 100 caps during the quarter-finals.

“It was a very special moment, to reach a milestone like that at this stage of my career.

Giselle giving it everything on the pitchGiselle giving it everything on the pitch

“When I started out I never thought I could play for England, let alone play 100 times!”

Next on the agenda for Giselle and her England team mates is the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April and then, perhaps bigger even than that, the small matter of a home World Cup, starting in June.

Ticket sales for the tournament have been overwhelming with organisers receiving more than 100,000 ticket applications in the ballot.

Giselle giving it everything on the pitchGiselle giving it everything on the pitch

“As a team, we absolutely cannot wait for the World Cup in London, the demand for tickets has been incredible. To know that every England pool game is sold out is a huge motivation for the squad and we cannot wait to go out and make the country proud.”

Investec, the specialist bank and asset manager, supports women’s hockey from grass roots level through to the national team. For more information, visit investec.co.uk/hockey.

Giselle Ansley’s fitness tips and tricks

Try anything: fitness doesn’t have to be about the gym and monotony can lead to a lack of motivation. Tennis, squash, kayaking…anything to get the heart rate going!

Do it with friends: if it’s fun and something you enjoy you’re more likely to stick with it so do it with friends, they can also spur you on if it gets a bit tough.

Everything in moderation: things like carbs are crucial for performance so don’t deny yourself them.

Schedule: if you plan your meals you won’t end up getting hungry and reaching for unhealthy snacks. Likewise, if you schedule exercise into your week you’re more likely to stick with it.

Build it up slowly: gradual increases in the intensity will help improve your fitness, but don’t rush it.

___________________

Follow Devon Life on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Devon Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Devon Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Devon Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from People

Friday, December 7, 2018

Devon Life received this heartfelt letter from Mr Michael Thompson, of Torbay, which is felt particularly poignant to share with our website audience at this time of year

Read more
Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Bursting with festive inspiration, KATE WILLIAMS seeks out the best presents for a perfect Devon Christmas

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Devon has had more than its fair share of high achievers over the years but how well do you know our county’s singers, authors, sportspeople, explorers and TV personalities? This is an edited version of a quiz compiled by MARGARET BRECKNELL in the December 2018 issue of Devon Life

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

PHILIP DALLING recalls two Exmoor legends who shared a deep love of the moor and its natural resources, and gained national fame through the media

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

In the month when we mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, STEVE ROBERTS highlights the terrible cost in human lives it inflicted on the county of Devon

Read more
Friday, November 16, 2018

Actor Tom Burke talks to JUDI SPIERS about his production of Don Carlos staged by his own theatre company Ara, in association with Exeter’s Northcott Theatre

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

In the latest in her series throughout 2018 profiling inspirational women, KATE HASKELL talks to England Women’s Cricket Captain, Heather Knight

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

There is more to Georgia Toffolo than an award-winning TV show, as HOLLY EELLS discovers

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

Striving to be the best in the world, homegrown Devon professional squash player Lyell Fuller is seeking sponsorship to help reach his goal. KATE WILLAMS finds out more

Read more
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Tavistock Rugby Club in Devon is celebrating after being awarded a grant of £2,500 to fund private showers for referees at their Sandy Park ground, as part of rural energy provider Calor’s annual funding scheme

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Devon’s Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, also known as The Black Farmer, tells KATE WILLIAMS about his new book, Jeopardy, encouraging the embracing of risk to enrich life

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

As five members of Dartmoor Search and Rescue Ashburton celebrate 125 years of collective volunteering, we look back on their time with the organisation

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

CAROLYN SEAGER reveals how long after her mother’s death she discovered her amazing career in the service of her country

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

An author known for her novels depicting life on the Channel Islands is nonetheless happiest writing from home here in Devon

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy



Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search