The Fjordhus Reivers club has held its annual summer hockey camp at Tweedbank.
It was at maximum capacity, with all spaces filled by enthusiastic, hard-working youngsters.
Over three days, the players had the opportunity to learn and develop new and current skills, taught and demonstrated by five young Scottish internationalists – Charlie Jack, Jude Boslem, Ellie Rutherford, Ava Findlay and Erin Lawrence, with assistance from seasoned coaches Helen Montgomery and Janet Jack.
The squads, divided into U12s and U16s, were also involved in team building exercises, slip ‘n’ slide (floor to score) and lots of other fun activities and small-sided games.
The highlight, however, was a visit by current GB and Scottish international player Sarah Robertson, returning to where she started her club hockey.
Ahead of joining the Scottish squad for the Women’s EuroHockey Championship II in Glasgow this week, she spoke to the youngsters about her hockey journey and what it takes to make an international player.
All present were enthralled with her stories and, without doubt, she has inspired many of the young players to work hard and develop their hockey.
Sarah, from Selkirk, was extremely generous in donating lots of GB and Scottish kit, which was awarded to players who had demonstrated a tremendous work ethic and winning, learning attitude.
Without a doubt, said Janet Jack, what made the camp such a huge success were the players themselves.
“The enthusiasm, ‘I can’ and eager-to-learn attitude was fantastic throughout and many hockey friendships were formed through the three days,” she added.
Sarah Robertson said: “Since Christmas, as a member of the GB women’s hockey squad, I have been competing in the new FIH pro league.
“This is an international league where the top nine teams in the world play each other, once at home and once away, so we have had a lot of travelling and a lot of games, which has been an amazing experience.
“We finished the pro league at the end of June by playing at the rugby club Harlequins Stoop, where a hockey pitch was laid temporarily.
“We beat New Zealand 3-1 in front of 12,000 home fans, which was a brilliant day and an incredible experience.
“Since then, we have had a two-week trip to Tokyo to prepare for the 2020 Olympic Games. The climate and the culture are both very different to what we are used to back home, so it was a great opportunity to get ahead of the game.”
Sarah and the Scottish ladies began their European quest on Sunday with a 7-0 win over Ukraine.
They followed this up on Tuesday with a 3-2 win against the Czech Republic, which ensured their path to the semi-finals, and in their last Pool B match, they defeated Austria 3-0, with their semi-final due against Poland ono Friday (August 9).
“This is the ‘B’ division,” added Sarah. “However, our aim is to gain promotion back in to the top tier, ‘A’ division.
“After this, I will go back to the Great Britain team, where our attention turns solely to qualifying for the Olympics and then, hopefully, preparing for them.
“It’s a busy, challenging but really rewarding stage of my career and it’s great to share these stories with kids in the Borders when I am home.”
l Meanwhile, Krefeld in Germany is hosting the European Masters Hockey Tournament from now until August 17.
Over 30 national sides will play in both men’s and women’s 50-55 year age groups.
Representing the Borders at O55 is Janet Jack, with Carolyn Allison and Jackie Wilson (both, like Janet, of Fjordhus Reivers) competing at O50.
Both have strong opposition in their age groups, in the form of Holland, Germany and Ireland for Janet’s team, and France, Germany and Ireland for Jackie and Carolyn.
With seven matches in eight days, the competition is sure to be challenging but the Borderers are confident that they are ready, having trained intensively over the last six months.
l In addition, Charlotte Barrett of Galashiels and Moira Anderson, of Duns, represented the Borders in the Scottish Celts squad and played over the weekend in Glasgow.
The Celts team first played together in 2014 when they travelled to London to participate in the European Cup. Since then, they have met once a year for a reunion game against invitation opposition.
Saturday’s game ended in a 3-0 defeat and, while Sunday’s match was closer, a late goal saw them go down 1-0.
However, players’ player of the weekend selections, voted by the opposition, went to Charlotte after her impressive performances over both days.
Charlotte and Moira will be travelling to Wakefield to play England’s ‘A’ team for the Quaich on Sunday, August 25.
This is the last game of the season for the Scottish Masters O60s team, so they hope to sign off with a win.
Trials for season 2019-20 will start again in October, when Charlotte and Moira will both be going forward for selection again.