HOCKEY: European bronze for goalkeeper Emma and England

Emma in action for England Over 45s
Emma in action for England Over 45s

Rugby & East Warwickshire first team player faces two sets of shuffles on way to medal

In the European Masters Hockey Championships in Rotterdam, goalkeeper Emma Olifent helped England Over 45s to win the bronze medal.

Emma Olifent with her bronze medal in Rotterdam

Emma Olifent with her bronze medal in Rotterdam

Emma, who plays for Rugby & East Warwickshire ladies first team, helped her team to a 3-0 over France, before drawing 0-0 with Ireland and losing 1-2 to Germany.

England finished second in their pool and played the Dutch in the semi-final which ended 1-1.

It then went to penalty shuffles, throwing the spotlight onto Emma in goal, but unfortunately they lost the shuffles 1-2.

“This meant that we faced Germany again as they lost to Spain in their semi,” Emma explained.

Emma Olifent celebrates with the team's other goalkeeper

Emma Olifent celebrates with the team's other goalkeeper

“Again, we were 1-1 at the end of the game and I faced my second set of shuffles, hoping to do better this time too!

“It was immense pressure, but I knew I had to focus on what I needed to do – I had to block everything else out around me and concentrate on my job, stopping them scoring!

“I didn’t want to let the rest of the squad down and played over in my mind what I needed to do to achieve this and the bronze medal.

“I also took mental strength from the coach for trusting me to do the shuffles for the second time, even though we had been unsuccessful the day before!

Emma and the England Over 45s team

Emma and the England Over 45s team

“The positivity and encouragement I received immediately beforehand from the other GK Amanda Ferebee and my son, Theo, also helped me to prepare and focus for the shuffles.”

England won the shuffles 4-2 to take the bronze medal. Emma added: “I felt incredibly proud and honoured to represent my country again and to play such a huge part in securing the bronze medal for the team.”

In an excellent tournament England won medals in all age groups; men’s and women’s O35s and women’s O40s took gold and men’s O40s and men’s and women’s O45s all took bronze.