Team England hockey player Giselle Ansley has been making the most of her Devon surroundings to help recover from an Achilles injury that cut short her hockey season.
The two-time Commonwealth medalList arrived home in Devon before the national lockdown begun, after an operation meant she was unable to train fully within her normal club setting of Surbiton in South London.
“I’m doing all my rehab remotely from down in Devon, so it is has actually given me a nice kind of set up. Obviously, I don’t have the direct physio support, but I have the physio and S&C coach on the phone every single day.
Alongside rehab, Ansley has also played a part in preparations for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. With Team England announcing a renewal of their kit supplier deal with Kukri for a third Games in a row, Ansley was part of a virtual athlete kit panel to discuss initial designs that will be showcased at the home Games in two years’ time.
“Every time you get to pull on an international shirt, it is a really special and incredible feeling and one that you definitely can’t take for granted."
"To be able to have some input to the design makes you even prouder of what you are wearing. You can step out on the pitch and know what has gone into it, through the planning and design processes and actually what you are conveying is exactly what you are trying to convey on the pitch.”
The thought of playing in front of a home crowd at a major Games in 2022 is something that Ansley is keen to experience after having a taste of it at the 2018 Hockey World Cup in England.
“The first game we ran out with 10,000 people cheering for us, I got goose bumps thinking about it now. If you then make that a multi-sport Games, where you have got from all sports and interests supporting Team England and the opportunity to be part of an even bigger team it is really special and a privilege.”
Before then, Ansley is enjoying some prolonged time at home since leaving the South West for University ten years ago as well as keeping her hockey skills up to scratch.
“The good thing about hockey, is that you can do lots of the skill bits on your own. Even sitting on a sofa, you can use the stick and twiddle the ball on the floor in front of you and you can go out in the garden if you are lucky. I’ve got a tiny bit of AstroTurf which I’ve been able to do a few bits of skills on as well.”
It’s not all about the hockey for Ansley, with the direction from coaches to concentrate on staying healthy and following social guidelines during these unprecedented times.
“My brother and one of my sisters have been down here as well, so I’ve been giving them ‘Giselle’s Boot Camp’ with some HIIT circuits and playing some garden golf. We did a lot of painting by numbers when the weather wasn’t great as well as baking and cooking, so I’ve done a lot of that and luckily, we have a lot of people here to eat it as well. So, I’ve kept myself very busy.”