OTB meets Team GB
Off The Bench (OTB), winner of the Best New StreetGames Project 2012, welcomed London 2012 bronze medallist, Georgie Twigg, and Team GB men’s hockey player Iain Lewers to its Street Hockey session yesterday.
The two athletes were invited by OTB’s Pete Genders via Twitter and wowed the young people with their tales from the Olympics, hockey skills and, of course, Georgie’s bronze medal.
Below is an account of the day from OTB Sport Development Volunteer, Alice Carter:
“Will there be a lasting Olympic legacy? This is a question on many people’s lips, but I can safely say that the young people who OTB work with in Sincil Bank have been truly inspired by the performances of both the male and female Team GB hockey teams at London 2012.
“Ever since hockey was broadcast to the nation during the Olympics the young people have suddenly become hockey crazy. We have played it every day in some form at Sincil Bank Holiday Club and Street Hockey sessions have been booming in attendance. The young people are also eager to emulate the athletes they have witnessed, with hockey corner routines appearing and a sudden new grasp on the rules and tactics of the sport. So what better way to stimulate and encourage this new found passion for hockey….meeting two of Team GB’s hockey players of course!
“August Bank Holiday Monday saw Team GB’s Georgie Twigg and Iain Lewers pay a visit to an OTB Street Hockey session, which turned out to be a session that all those involved will enjoy reliving for years to come. Georgie brought along her Olympic bronze medal and both athletes were very willing to chat with the young people and have photographs taken. As nearly all the young people who proudly adorned the medal commented, the medal is much heavier than expected and also much larger in real life. It was also fantastic to hear first-hand some of Georgie and Iain’s experiences whilst at the Olympics and equally rewarding seeing the young people eagerly consume everything they said. The highlight of the session was, however, seeing the young people enjoy playing a fast and furious Street Hockey game alongside Georgie and Iain, with various ages, genders and abilities mixing and uniting together through the sport of hockey. The mood was relaxed and soon Georgie and Iain were becoming integral parts of both teams, with the young people enjoying playing with two highly talented individuals.
“I know the young people in Sincil Bank will have taken a lot from Georgie and Iain’s visit, the respect they gave the pair was remarkable and truly deserved for the efforts they have gone to representing their country. It was also rewarding for us OTB staff members to be able to give the young people this experience and on a personal level be able to meet Olympians. To say hockey fanatic MattOTB was over the moon to meet Georgie and Iain would be an underestimation, and it was great to see his efforts working on the Street Hockey project rewarded. Unfortunately MattOTB can now no longer use his hockey stick after getting it signed by the duo and fearing the signatures will wear off! I have also been volunteering at Street Hockey from the start and to be able to say I have played hockey with two Team GB players is quite an achievement by my standards!
“The visit from Georgie Twigg and Iain Lewers to our OTB Street Hockey session is truly the Olympic legacy in action, and is something OTB is proud to be a part of. We aim to inspire young people every day to take up sport and positive activities instead of choosing to engage in other negative behaviours, but a little helping hand now and again from some Olympians does no harm. The wonderful session would not have been possible however without the fantastic Georgie and Iain giving up their time for the young people – a massive thank you to you both, you are a true credit to Team GB.”
Sport Development Volunteer, OTB