Official Hockey Ireland sponsors, SoftCo and Park Developments, and official partner, Saba restaurants, hosted an International Women’s Day lunch to celebrate the Irish Senior Women’s Hockey Team and spotlight their incredible journey on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games.
The Irish Women’s Hockey team, and management attended the event, as well as the sponsors and their clients and some of Ireland’s top influencers. The team who are busy preparing for the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo this summer were delighted to take a break from their busy training schedule to enjoy a celebratory lunch in their partner’s restaurant, Saba, with their sponsors SoftCo and Park Developments, who have built an incredible support network around the team.
The lunch was accompanied by a Q&A hosted by sports journalist and television presenter, Evanne Ni Chuilinn. Evanne interviewed four time Olympian, Olive Loughnane, Sport Ireland Institute Head Performance Psychologist, Kate Kirby and Irish Women’s Hockey Head Coach, Sean Dancer. They discussed the team’s preparation for Tokyo 2020, what they can expect of the Olympic experience and the importance of having a winning mentality and resilience heading over to the Games.
Speaking at the event, Olive Loughnane (OLY) said: “The Olympics is the absolute pinnacle for high performance athletes who get to represent their country on the biggest stage of them all. There is nothing that can fully prepare you for the actual Olympic experience itself, it is truly special and unique and will be a dream come true to this group. My advice would be to just enjoy every minute of it and be present. These women have made a huge amount of sacrifices to be where they are today and it was a real privilege to be invited here to share my own experiences.”
The Q&A was followed by a panel discussion from members of the team who gave an insight into their preparation and training schedule as they get ready to travel to South Africa for warm-up matches against South Africa, England and China. There was a great sense of optimism and belief in the room as the team and staff reiterated their goal of going for gold at the Olympics.
Irish Women’s coach Sean Dancer said: “I would like to thank SoftCo, Park Developments and Saba for their continued support of this incredible team and our journey. Their support has been fundamental to our Olympic preparations and without it our current training programme would not be what it is. It is great to have the opportunity to all get together today and celebrate the journey we have all been on and the memories this incredible group of women have given us as they continue to push the boundaries and inspire those around them to chase their dreams.”