Name: Lauren Turner
Home Town/Country: Leicester, England
Home Club: Leicester HC
Current Club: Hampstead & Westminster HC
I started playing hockey at high school during P.E. lessons, before then mainly playing football. Gradually I progressed through the county and regional sides, giving up football when I was 17 and earning an England trial with hockey that year. After representing England at U’18 and U’21 age groups, as well as the Great Britain Youth Squad, I was honored to receive my first senior cap in 2013. My journey abroad started in 2011 when I moved to Holland after completing my degree at Loughborough University. I spent my first season at Bloemendaal and, despite thinking I would only be overseas for one season, then moved to HDM and stayed for 2 more! I returned back to England in 2014 after being asked to train with the Great Britain programme and re-joined my home club Leicester HC.
When I was released from the programme I made the decision to go abroad again and went for the sunnier option of Australia, joining UWA in Perth after the season in England finished. I was selected for the state team that year and competed in the AHL for WA Diamonds. Friends wanted to go to Sydney for New Year so I decided to stay on for a second season and travel in between. We had a fantastic year at UWA, winning the league and play-offs and I also managed to squeeze in a trip to play in the NHL with Midlands, picking up a bronze medal there too! A Spanish friend I played with at HDM then got in touch to see if I’d be interested in playing in Spain. I agreed to join her home club for the second half of the season in January, after travelling post-season in Australia. I spent 5 months in Bilbao at R.C. Jolaseta before deciding to move back to England, joining Hampstead & Westminster in a move which saw me reunited with a teammate I’d met in Bloemendaal 5 years before who had since become one of my close friends – my journey almost coming full circle!
Why you’re excited/passionate about Uru:
Playing overseas has had a hugely positive impact on my life. I’ve been fortunate to see the world through my sport, meet friends for life, experience different cultures and (attempt to) learn new languages. Uru is able to give people access to a wide range of opportunities, and a larger talent pool for clubs, making it easier for people all over the world to connect as well as giving them greater insight about what to expect.
Advice you give to the hockey community:
Say yes! Be open to new people, ideas, ways of life and throw yourself into as much as you can. It’s not always easy but the more you get involved with the faster you’ll feel settled – helping out around the club is the easiest way to get to know more people and make a good impression. On the flip side if you’ve got someone joining your team don’t underestimate the value of inviting them for a tea/coffee or simply hanging out!!