Team England hockey star Simon Mantell first represented his country nearly 10 years ago at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and has seen the games develop over the last decade.  

Mantell, 31, recently spoke to the employees of Team England partner, leading law firm Shakespeare Martineau about team work and talent. Simon recognises the importance of Team England’s commercial partnerships in the development of athletes and sports.

“The support of commercial partners like Shakespeare Martineau is really important. The support we get from Team England and its partners is instrumental in our improvement as a team. We’ve come a long way in the 10 years I’ve been involved with the England team and the support of Team England has allowed us to do that. We have gone from being somewhat part-time to a full-time elite team and we rely on those partnerships for our facilities and infrastructure that go with the job.”

“It’s also interesting for us as athletes to come in and see how businesses work and get a bit of insight into that. Hopefully it will help us to develop networks and there is mutual learning”.

CGE is fully focused on sending the best prepared group of athletes to represent their country at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, an event that Mantell is certainly looking forward to, despite being towards the latter part of his career.

“When you’re competing and still improving then you never think about stopping so I would love to try and keep going to try and get more than a bronze medal at Gold Coast. Never say never, keep focusing on the here and now and progressing both individually and as a team.

“It was incredible to finally get a Commonwealth medal at Glasgow 2014 having come fourth twice in previous Games, so it was great to break that duck. It was like being on home soil; despite it being in Scotland we had incredible support and my friends and family were able to come and support.

“The Commonwealth Games is integral for developing athletes. My first tournament as an England player was Melbourne in 2006 and it was a real eye opener for me in terms of being at a multi-sport event and going out to realise you’re representing not only your sport, friends and family but your country and the bigger team is something really special.”