With just days to go until the 2018 Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup, preparations are well underway within the team, with many players getting ready to play a first senior tournament on home soil.
However for Kathryn Lane it will be the first time she has ever played in front of a British crowd and what a stage to do it on, with 10,000 people set to roar England on during each match at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.
This will round off a whirlwind few months for the Leicester HC player, who began the year with just one senior cap to her name but is now a Commonwealth bronze medallist and has been selected to play in the biggest British women’s stand alone sporting event this year.
When asked if she thought her 2018 would pan out like this, Lane said: “Absolutely not! In my review at the start of the year I was told I probably wasn’t going to the Commonwealth or the World Cup so I’d just focused on working really hard, improving everything I could and hitting October – when the Champions Trophy comes around – hard.
“The Commonwealth Games selection came completely out of the blue but I just had the best time and it set off a hunger for more – I’d never experienced anything like that before, it was just so much fun and we managed to have an ok tournament which has led into the World Cup.
“I wouldn’t change anything for the world, I’ve absolutely loved it.”
Since that event Lane’s profile has increased furthermore with appearances on England Hockey’s channels and in the media, including showcasing her passion for baking alongside Giselle Ansley and Ellie Watton under the watchful gaze of Colin Murray.
She also featured in the #BehindEveryGreatPlayer campaign alongside her Mum, reducing many viewers to tears as she recalled the review from earlier in the year and how she felt like she’d let her parents down.
“Bless her, my Mum was quite nervous coming down because obviously she’s never really done anything like that,” Lane recalled.
“But she absolutely loved it. It was incredible to share the stories you’ve had with your family growing up with the outer world and it makes you appreciate how much your parents and your family have done for you.
“Obviously you know it but we just forget to say thank you as I think a lot of kids do. This campaign has had so much support, so many people have messaged me about it saying ‘this is incredible/you’ve reduced me to tears/your mum is a legend’ and things like this and it’s great to see how much backing it’s had.”
Ahead of the tournament, the former Exeter University student said the team are in a very positive place and know that they will be taking part in something special between 21 July – 5 August.
She also believes that the, following on from the success of Great Britain at Rio 2016, more eyes than ever will be on them and that it’s the perfect opportunity to change perceptions and attract more people to the sport.
“The amount of tickets that have already been sold is absolutely incredible – knowing that there are 100,000 people who want to come and watch women’s sport is a massive step forward,” she said.
“We also hope to inspire kids to start up hockey or keep playing to the next level. One of our visions as a squad is to inspire the future and this is a massive stage to do that on.
“Even just little things like being around for autographs in the fan zone and just getting to know the fans and people that support us is amazing for us and hopefully we can have some kind of impact on them.”