Well it’s great to do this final blog having had a 2-0 win over China. Another tense game which again saw several opportunities going astray and two goals being disallowed for us under video referal. This game was for the 5 v 6 placing. It is vitally important for the girls to gain as high a place as possible, to pick up world ranking points and to secure funding. Most people would not realise that the Hockeyroos’ funding, as is the Kookaburras’, is based on world rankings. The lower our world ranking the lower our funding is for the next year. Which creates a Catch 22 situation, the less money put into the sport the harder it is to achieve desired
results. The Hockeyroos are lucky that Ausdrill have become a major sponsor for the next two years, so that will subsidise the girls to a great extent. There is not a lot of money to be made in hockey so any extra sponsorship or funding is invaluable.
These girls all work or study on top of being full time athletes, the dedication they show to their sport is amazing considering they are still classed as an amateurs, but are expected to give up a huge part of a normal lifestyle to fulfill their ambition. As mum of Casey I could not be prouder. She is a wonderful ambassador for her sport and an amazing daughter. I look at her in awe of what she has achieved and is yet to achieve, her dedication, her determination and of the person she has become.
The London Olympics will probably be looked back upon as one of the least successful Olympics in terms of the medal count. I just know that Casey has sacrificed a lot of a normal life to play for her country in the sport that she loves, as has every athlete that has been in London for the Olympics. It is a real shame that a lot of the general public, including media, get the right to disparage our athletes or anyone that does not fulfill their proposed expectations.
To watch your daughter, son, partner or family member perform at an Olympic games is a real privilege and our family group have been honoured to be allowed to be part of this experience for both Casey and Ryan. We have shared the joy of success, the despair of injuries, and the agony of defeat not only for the last two weeks, but for the last seven years for Casey. I’m sure there have been times for her that it all seemed too much, all too hard. That’s where we come in to pick up the pieces, give a reasurring hug or lend a shoulder to cry on. Having had Casey live in Perth for the last five years without her family to support her closely has been extremely difficult.
I would like to thank everyone for reading this blog over the past few weeks. We have had a lot of laughter. Also a lot of sadness. Doing the blog after the girls drew with Argentina was definitely the hardest. Sitting here typing with tears rolling down my face, knowing how devastated the girls were, was so sad. Sorry if I upset anyone!
After the China win we were able to catch up with the girls at Aussie House. It was a great night with all family members coming together to share in their success. It may not have resulted in a gold medal, but I could not have been prouder of Casey and the 2012 Hockeyroos.
Janette & Daz
Photo: Casey with Team Eastham