Beeston Women’s Hockey captain, Lauren Burrell, is certainly leading by example.
After a covid-affected couple of years, one which is still, for its part, ongoing, Beeston finally returned to the field this past summer, with the aim of finishing in the top six, an achievement made recently when in South Wales.
A 4-2 success over hosts Swansea was highlighted with the Bees’ fourth coming from their captain who, in a recent interview with the Nottingham Sport afforded insight into her life in hockey, and captaining the Bees.
“I’m a Lancashire girl, from Blackpool, initially, but hockey, is limited in the North-West,” began Lauren.
“Because of that I would go onto find a job in the Midlands, in Derby, and to be honest, my partner was already working in Loughborough so it helped us staying in the area.”
Travelling about though, with her education, Lauren has seen herself studying at both Loughborough, and at Leeds, eventually finishing off her studies back in 2017.
It was to be at this time the she would make the switch to Beeston, after a spell with Loughborough Students, and had never looked back.
“Yes, I’ve done my PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education – Teacher Training) at Loughborough, a degree in Sport & Exercise Science at Leeds Met, and a masters degree in Education at Loughborough,” explained Lauren.
“That was also whilst working as a PE Teacher so, although enjoyable, it was also tough when it came to doing the latter.
“That was completely different, and I did struggle with everything.”
Worth it in the end, Lauren is very much enjoying life both teaching, and coaching, whilst also donning the captains band and vest at Beeston.
Although covid hampered on-field progression she, and others around her, kept themselves active as best they could, spurring them on to hopefully bigger, and better accomplishments.
“I’m into my fifth year here now,” beamed Lauren.
“We were promoted in my first season, that’s helped us with our progression, helped the continuity, and with the confidence.
“The past year or so though, yes, it’s been difficult, and strange at the same time, what with the initial travelling restriction, then having no hockey at all.
“I was fortunate though as, where my partner works, they’ve a hockey field, so I was at least able to do some individual training, although I know that everybody had differing experiences.
“I was also named the Bees captain last year as well which, although completely unexpected, was a huge honour.
“It was a natural step-up for me to take, and to have my first game as captain, in the cup final, which we won against Clifton; it was a great game and quite surreal really.”
Now though, the Bees will, soon enough, be looking ahead to what will most certainly be a tough, second half of the season.
It’ll be a rollercoaster ride in which Burrell, and her teammates, will be both looking forward to taking, and ready for.
“This season has been both about a new squad, and a new format in the league,” finished Lauren.
“With that, we were hoping for that top six finish, which was achievable, especially with the performances we’ve put in.
“We can do something though, we’ve performed well, and we’ve done ourselves proud, especially when we’ve opposed the top teams.”
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @Plumtreelad Burrell in action for Beeston Hockey Club.