Hockey: Success is all in Muir's genes

Love or loathe it, sometimes there is no escaping the watchful eye of your mother. For Boroughmuir Ladies Hockey Club, it is a natural guardianship that continues to manifest itself, where mothers and daughters seem inseparable both on and off the park.

Throughout the club's two squads which compete in the East District outdoor hockey league, the Meggetland side can now muster 14 players who share a love of the game and play alongside at least one member of their family.

To some, this selection policy may bear little obvious advantage, with the potential for domestic issues coming to the fore at training or during a competitive match. However, new club captain, Hazel Waddell, reflects on a fantastic team spirit fostered by family connections and the broad age range evident within the club.

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She said: "We have players from as young as 17 and then others who are over 50, but it's such a positive aspect we have going at the club. A lot of us used to bring our children along when they were younger where they would watch from the sidelines so it's just a natural progression. I encouraged my daughter, Rebecca, to play as did many of the other mums at the club so we have a real family spirit going. Many of the younger girls could have elected to play for university clubs but have chosen to represent Boroughmuir, so it's great."

With the league ending on a high for Boroughmuir Ladies' first team, who achieved promotion to the local Premier Division, the imminent summer break enables batteries to be recharged and any lingering injuries time to heal. But Waddell reveals that the close unity surrounding the club lives on as friendships continue in a manner outwith the sport of hockey.

"What we've found is most stay in contact during the off season. Some of the girls play touch rugby, meet up and go for a walk and we've also got some fundraising to do so that's another way of us all being together. I think it's good that most are doing some fitness over the summer months as it keeps the legs going and prepares us for training when it resumes in August. But it also just reinforces the togetherness we have at the club and how close we are as a team."

A close affiliation with Boroughmuir Rugby Club, the squad is blessed with superior facilities than most since the refurbishment of their Craiglockhart base in 2006. A long stint competing in the National League came to a close in 2009 due to extensive travel commitments which involved the squads venturing across the country to fulfil away fixtures.

A move into the East District League has helped the club develop further within the community - a trend Waddell hopes will continue to attract more players to the field of play.

"We want to encourage girls to play so we're open to any standard. If we end up with enough numbers where we are able to produce a third team then that would be great. Any new players interested will receive coaching and support."

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