Name: Grace O’Hanlon
Home Town/Country: Born in Maryborough, QLD Australia
Home Club: Maryborough Brothers Hockey Club (Maryborough QLD, Australia)
Current Club: Somerville Hockey Club (Auckland, New Zealand)
I started playing hockey at 6 years old in my home town. I played with Brothers for 10 years before moving away to study and play for the University of Queensland Unicorns (Brisbane, QLD) in 2010. Hockey Australia came calling in 2015, and I played 2 seasons in Perth, WA, with the premiership winning Westside Wolves while training with the Hockeyroos. Post Rio Olympics in 2017, an opportunity arose with the New Zealand Black Sticks. Being blessed with a dual-citizenship (thanks Dad) I moved my whole life over the Tasman Sea to join a top-4 international team. I made my debut for the Black Sticks in February 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and have since not missed a tour. We finished our season coming second in the 2017 World League, toppling both Argentina and England on the way to the final. Now I am looking forward to a jam-packed 2018, with an upcoming Commonwealth Games and World Cup in the first 6 months of the season.
Why you’re excited/passionate about Uru:
Here is a list of my three all-time favourite things: 1. Family and friends 2. Hockey. 3. Travel. Here is a list of why I love Uru: 1. Family and friends. 2. Hockey. 3. Travel. Travelling to play the sport you love means you get to meet some VERY cool people doing the same things you love to do. Hockey has taken me to dozens of countries, surrounded by my best friends. I couldn’t recommend it enough.
Advice you’d give to the hockey community:
My advice to a player thinking about playing overseas? Though it may sound cliché, you’re only young once! Being able to just get up and GO, and settle into completely different environment with the help of a supportive team and club is an opportunity almost nobody has It is not a life-long commitment, it is like one long holiday. To a coach or club thinking about on-boarding an imported athlete? These players love hockey enough to move their life to a new country – they aren’t going to let you down. In a more technical sense, a foreign athlete can bring new styles and ideas to your team’s play. In a less technical sense, I have never met a travelling athlete that doesn’t want to have a good time and they bring a lot of life to the club’s social life. Get on board!