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Hockeyroos (Australian National Hockey team) - Jane Claxton

SIM Ξ Hockey

I met up with Jane to hear first-hand how she has rocketed through the Hockey world and into the senior team and Hockeyroos. Her story is one of dedication, hard work and a very supportive family.

Starting Hockey at seven, she played because she enjoyed it and connected with it. In many ways unlike a lot of athletes Jane didn’t set her sights on
playing for the Hockeyroos. In fact she says, “I didn’t see myself playing for the Hockeyroos, I always thought they were so good”. She played because
it came naturally and the enjoyment saw her progress through club to State team and through to AHL (Australian Hockey League) and the U21 national team,
where she got her call up from coach Adam Commens. Commenting on her selection, Adam said “Jane has been one of the leaders in the Juniors and has confidently
made the step up to the Senior program. She performed excellently at last year’s AHL and has put in outstanding performances for the Juniors.” Not bad
for a truly humble athlete who does what she does because she enjoys it and likes to put in the hard work required.

Jane’s focus is on hard work - and that it pays off if you focus on that and not the glory and glamour. Listening to her you can really sense the huge
cost involved in her journey. She committed herself to this journey and is thoroughly enjoying it, although she is still getting used to playing for the
Hockeyroos. “In some ways it’s still sinking in,” she says about being selected. It is lovely to hear that with 17 caps and 2 goals under her belt she
is still very aware of that freshness of representing her country and the excitement of it.

However, she is very clear that it hasn’t come easily. “It means a lot - and sometimes people don’t appreciate how hard it is to get to the point of playing
for the Hockeyroos. All that effort and training, all they see is you playing and on TV,” Jane comments on the years spent on the training pitch and playing
matches, working to get better. Yes, all top athletes train hard, but there is a real sense of personal sacrifice and long hours put in to keep pushing
herself. She is in many ways her own toughest master, working herself harder and harder to improve and even now she is reflective on her position and aware
that she has a lot more to do to get better - and it is only when the coaching team show her improvements on video, that she gives herself credit.

The making or breaking of such young players is their support system around them and it is so good to hear that the Hockeyroos management spend so much
time on tour supporting the younger players mentally and physically and allowing them the time to (as Jane says) use every app available to contact home.
There is also a full time psychologist available to talk them through any challenges they may have. This allows the players to relax, develop and grow
in the ‘fishbowl’ that they find themselves in, playing against the best teams in the world without being in awe or falling apart. Full credit to the management
too for their focus on such a key area with young players.

For all the hard work from Jane and the support from the Hockeyroo management, the cornerstone of her ability to do all these things and what has allowed
her to become the athlete that she is, is her family. She talks about her family and enthuses about them and their support - to the point that at least
one member of the family always goes on tour with her. You can see from her chatting that there is a depth and connection there that is of huge value to

There is something special, yet intangible about Jane that makes her good to watch on the pitch and enjoyable to chat to off the pitch. A groundedness,
peace and enjoyment in what she does, but balanced with incredible determination and focus. Here is a world class player in the making, watch this space!