GREAT Britain hockey star Kirsty Mackay was the guest of honour at the Ripley St Thomas In2Hockey Festival on March 9.
The visit came as part of a nationwide programme, the Hockey Nation, which will see British Olympic hockey players visit events involving more than 450 secondary schools.
Kirsty, a member of the Great Britain Hockey Team preparing for the Olympic Games, helped with an In2Hockey coaching session before answering questions in a specially arranged question and answer session.
Kirsty said: “I started playing hockey at school so it’s fantastic to be able to return to the playground, to meet the pupils and speak to them about their sporting ambitions.
“The Olympic Games was always a massive inspiration to me growing up and if I can help inspire the next generation and recruit some new fans of hockey in the process then that would be great!”
Event organiser, Katie Benter from Ripley St Thomas Academy, said: “The idea behind the festival, kindly hosted by Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School, was to invite all local schools in the area to bring along pupils who are new to the game of hockey.
“It has been wonderful to see all of the 55 girls and boys who have taken part make progress throughout the day and develop friendships with new team mates from other schools.”
Morecambe High School and Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School joined the players from Ripley at the event. The pupils were divided into seven teams, each representing a different Olympic hockey nation.
The teams were coached through some core In2Hockey skills before taking part in a round robin tournament.
The winning team in the boys section was Spain and, boding well for the summer, the winner in the girls’ section was Great Britain.