Brother and sister, Kareena and William Marshall from Paisley, both play hockey for Scotland and are hoping to be part of Team Scotland for the second time, when the Commonwealth Games come to Glasgow next year. The competition will be staged at the magnificent new National Hockey Centre at Glasgow Green, which opened its doors to the public in July.
Driving them on towards their goal is a combination of a healthy sibling rivalry and the desire to follow in the footsteps of their mother Judith, a former England hockey player.
Explaining how they got involved in the sport William (27) said: “My earliest memory is of watching my mum play hockey. She was massively into the sport and was an England internationalist and this clearly influenced our involvement in hockey.”
“As the oldest, I started playing hockey first, but we joined Greenock Hockey Club at the same time and stayed there until we were 17/18 years old before joining Kelburne in Paisley.”
And Kareena (26) who trained as a physiotherapist and now lives in Glasgow, is the first to admit how seriously they both take the sport: “There is massive rivalry between us. We are both really driven people and we both want to achieve. So I sometimes come down and see how William is getting on. He is doing pretty well at the moment and I strive to be as good as him, but I can also teach him a few things!”
“If I am selected for Team Scotland it would be a great honour to be playing in my home city. I can’t think of anything better than having all my friends and family coming to watch me play hockey.”
“Hopefully the new Hockey Centre will give the sport a real boost. We are not one of the most high profile sports, but we do have a lot of people that play. So hopefully more people including schools will be able to come and see top level hockey in Glasgow and access the facility themselves.”
Looking back to his first Commonwealth Games, William added: “The whole experience in Delhi was excellent from the volunteers to the massive crowds and it gave me a real buzz and motivation to be part of Glasgow 2014 and do whatever I can to be on the pitch playing next summer.”
“Our mum is very proud of both of us. She was in Delhi and loved every minute of it! She did a lot with her sporting career, so every time we get to do anything like this, we are trying to emulate what she did. She has been up in Scotland for so long now that she sees herself as fully Scottish so has no problem with us representing Scotland; it was the natural thing for us to do.”
The next stop in the selection process for both of them is Hockey’s European Championships in August.
The men who are playing in Vienna are looking for promotion into the A Division, whilst the women are looking to retain their current A status at the tournament hosted in Antwerp. Both teams have tough draws with the women up against England, Spain and Germany, but helping in their quest for European and Commonwealth Games success is funding from sportscotland.
Kareena explained: “The women are benefiting from funding that allows us two periods of full-time training up to Glasgow 2014.”
“We started at the end of June and it has been fantastic. We have been training together as a squad five days a week in Edinburgh and already we are starting to notice the difference. Not having to work a 37 hour week before training has massively improved the quality of our training and the team coming together regularly will help us compete with the best.”
Whilst the men don’t qualify for quite the same level of support they recently started part-time squad training and then start next winter to prepare in earnest for the Commonwealth Games.
Let’s hope they can both make mum proud once more when the team gets selected next year.
You can follow both William and Kareena on Twitter:
Photo Credit: CGS