Hannah Martin's hockey dream comes true
Hannah Martin still remembers where she was when she was first told she’d represent England in hockey in under 16s.
That one email received while she was still at school was both the vindication and the catalyst for her burgeoning career that now has her set to compete at her first Commonwealth Games.
Martin, alongside her older brother Harry, were both extremely promising tennis players as juniors, but found a love for hockey and made the decision to switch sports.
Harry has competed in two Olympic games and played over 100 matches for England, while Hannah is now gearing up for her first major Games appearance.
“I still remember the day when I got the call-up message to come into the under 16s camp, I’ve never been so happy in my entire life,” Hannah told GC2018.com.
“It seemed so unfathomable to play for your country. To get that first opportunity was amazing.
"From there, I didn’t want to stop playing for my country. As soon as I got a taste for it, that was it, I just wanted more.”
The 23-year-old progressed through the England hockey system and made her senior debut in South Africa last year.
It was a dream come true after watching her brother compete at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games as a 17-year-old and go on to represent Great Britain at multiple Olympics.
From the time they were kids playing in the living room and the garden, her brother has always been a source of constant inspiration.
“Watching Harry play in such a huge tournament spurred me on,” she said.
“I saw my brother being so successful when he was 17, he played his first Commonwealth Games and I remember watching that from our sixth form in school and everyone was cheering him on. It was massively inspiring for me to watch him achieve so much.
“It has given me that gut drive to go and do the same.
“When he played London 2012, it was so surreal. Everyone was supporting GB and it was very special to watch him in action.
“Being able to have Harry by my side and go to a Commonwealth Games together is something I’ll remember forever.”
Phenomenal achievement for my super ⭐️ brother! Someone I have always looked up to & is an utter inspiration to me on and off the pitch. Very lucky to be your sister 😘 @HarryMartin_9 https://t.co/pKatr9NpU4— Hannah Martin (@hkmartin7) March 9, 2018
Hannah will be part of an English team with huge expectations at GC2018.
The squad is full of players who were part of the Great Britain team that claimed a historic gold medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
It means confidence is high in the playing group, and it is not something Hannah takes for granted.
“There is still a lot of that Olympic team in our squad and they are hugely inspirational to me,” she said.
“I can still remember clearly that night they won the gold medal, it is something that has provided a legacy for the squad and our culture is so brilliant. I’m inspired by the girls playing around me.
“There is always competition. But it is a special environment and everyone has everyone’s back. They are all so supportive. The standard is really good, but we push each other to be better all the time. It’s what you want.
“It was an incredibly special moment to make my senior debut, I knew I was playing alongside such special players, such incredible people. I just wanted to go out there and prove myself. It was quite daunting, but stepping off that pitch I was so happy to get my first cap for my country.
“That is definitely what drives me every day, it is my teammates around me and all striving towards the same goal and that is what it is really important to me.”
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Absolutely delighted to be selected for my first Commonwealth Games. Certainly a dream come true for me, hugely honoured to be representing @TeamEngland @GC2018 alongside this brilliant squad 🏴 https://t.co/Ivw4zRdJ2S— Hannah Martin (@hkmartin7) March 15, 2018