Grasshoppers Ladies

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Our Stories - Our Club

Read through our stories of our club. These are honest words from the players, parents and those involved.

Lucy Elsdon (Player & Umpire)

GHL have given me so many different opportunities to develop my hockey career in so many different aspects.  When I was 16 they sent me on my level1 player coaching course which they supported me fully with. I was able to run part of the training sessions to help me pass and we had such good coaches who helped me. 

The best thing that GHL did was send me to an East Mini Hockey Tournament as an umpire when I was 17. This was a weekend away umpiring U14 mini hockey. I was then able to do my level one. I then found my love of umpiring hockey and decided to stop playing hockey and develop my umpiring. Grasshoppers where so supportive and let me umpire there games and helped me get games of a higher level within women's hockey and also men's hockey. However they also tried to fit me in to a game as a player so I was able to do both in the same day. 

I suffered an injury which stopped me doing any sort of sporting activity, during this break I decided to quit ballet and go further with my umpiring. In the space of 1 year after my injury I had passed my level 2 umpire assessment and I passed my national young umpiring assessment. The national young umpiring assessment meant I was on a panel called the NYUPL this allowed me to umpire any national finals up to the age of U21 I was 21 myself and being able to umpire at this level seemed just a dream. I umpired the U18 National School Final outdoor and the U16 clubs indoor final. Not just this but I was given the opportunity to umpire England. The NYUPL appoints people to tournaments and international fixtures, from September 2012 to July 2013 I umpired England U16 v Ulster U16 twice and England U18 v Germany U18. I also umpired in France which was appointed by East Umpiring Association, Belfast and Holland. The tournament in Belfast was the police and fire world games, I umpired Australia Ireland Holland many more countries.

In September 2013 I was appointed to two of the most prestigious young umpiring tournaments the Sainsbury's School Games and the Futures cup. There where only three young umpires appointed from England and to be one of them was just immense. After being appointed to these tournament I was advised I will be put up for my level 3 assessment by east meaning I was then able to umpire the national league. This was a lot of hard work, I had to pass fitness tests and be mentally fit as well as physically fit. I wasn't appointed to many games in October and needed to keep up my fitness, grasshoppers welcomed me back as a player with open arms to help me keep my fitness up by playing competitively for them. It was with this support and help that I passed my level 3 assessment outdoor and I am now a national league umpire. 

The support from grasshoppers doesn't stop there, since 2012 I was put on a level 1 & 2 indoor umpiring courses that I passed, and now in early 2014 I have passed my level 3 indoor umpiring assessment.

Not many 22 year olds can say I am a national league umpire indoor and outdoor, nor can they say that they have had a local club fully support them mentally and physically. There have been weekends when I have come away from a game and wanted to give up and, this is when I get the support from my club telling me to keep going and also how proud they are of me but, I wouldn't have been where I am if it wasn't for them sending 17 year old me on the course and the amazing support from the players the committee and just anyone involved with the club. I have grown as a person not just as an umpire and for that I love my club. In 2014 I was named East Young Umpire Of The year, and again this is down to my hockey family.”

Marguerite‏ Dwerryhouse (Parent)

My three children have been at Grasshoppers hockey club for the past 5 years. The standard of coaching, support and encouragement has been outstanding, they take time to get to know each of their particular strengths and weaknesses and plan their training programmes accordingly.


When Oliver started at Grasshoppers he was in a special provision for children with autism and not involved in any sport. Laura Quinn gave autism awareness training to coaching staff and Oliver really enjoyed his hockey. With their support he made the county hockey team and again Laura attended the county sessions to advise the new coaching staff. Oliver now plays for the linked men’s team – Cranes HC.


The club also recognised very early on that my daughter; Beth, had potential, and tailored her programme accordingly. This included fitness training, indoor hockey and also attending the ladies training sessions. Beth has been on the elite pathway for the past three years and is captain of her school hockey team, next year she will be the youngest player in the school 1st 1X.


My youngest son plays hockey for fun and he is just as supported and valued as my other two. I have been very impressed with Grasshoppers, from the high quality coaching through to the welcoming atmosphere which is extended to all.

Micayla Tootill (Club Indoor & Outdoor Captain 2013/2014)

My hockey career began at the age of 13, where my PE teacher at the time, recognised my natural talent for the game and recommended that I joined a club. So, a few months later, I joined Harleston Magpies for a trial session. I must have done something right as Nick McAllen wanted me to represent Harleston in the qualification for U13 National Mini finals which was a great privilege for me. From that tournament, my hockey career rocketed.



I started in the 5th team, and in my second full season at Harleston, I was named as a star player, meaning I couldn’t play any lower that the 2nd team at that point. At this point the U16 girls also managed to make it to the national indoor finals where I captained them to third place which was wonderful moment for me. This was also the first time that I decided to play county hockey which had proven to be very successful. I was invited back to attend the JRPC hockey camp and was able to get to the third stage until my luck ran out! This was a great achievement for me as I was only 15 years old!


I think my third season was the highlight of my hockey career. Straight away I was training and playing with the 1st team as wells as the 2nd team, this level of hockey was hockey I had never experienced before and it gave me the courage to do county and JRPC again making it to the HIPAC which was 4 stages in which was the equivalent of playing for East hockey. I also participated in the U18 indoor national finals where we came 4th, and just top off the season we were going to the national finals outdoor as well! However, this season didn’t end as I had planned, at the last quarter of the season I sustained a serious knee dislocation that took me out the game for a total of a year and half.


I thought my life had ended because from playing so much to playing nothing and thought I’d never play again, just killed me inside. I was in a lot of denial about my knee as I was only 16 years old! When I began 6th form everything seemed to get better and I was starting to play small sports again. I had a teacher that told me that she plays for a small club and it would be good for me start again. I joined Hoppers, not knowing what to expect!

While I never knew what to expect when joinging Hoppers, I always thought it would have been temporary. Well I was certainly wrong! Hoppers made me understand and enjoy the game, they showed me that I didn’t have to be scared or depressed anymore. There were certain people in the team who exactly did this, they had let me explore positions I had never thought I could even play. Also, when I had first begun they let me express my opinion which I valued them greatly for. This also made me understand that I don’t need to just be a good player anymore, but that I can use my experiences of my past to help the future generations play hockey and enjoy the game.


I feel like Hoppers let me express my options and I guess this is how I became a captain in both outdoor and indoor hockey! At first this was a shock, but I have come to appreciate the position. Through the short time at Hoppers I can also see how the club is developing into a solid hockey community both in skill and people. The young talent that is starting to prevail through the mini's has be phenomenal and I see in the future, the club will be progress in the league and see that they can see many promotions to come as I have said both our outdoor are teams strong, we also have a very strong A and B indoor team that are steady growing in experience. I see a lot of players using the skills they have learned indoor and shown and progressed those skills in outdoor as well.


I can certainly say, as a player with a little bit of experience, that if it wasn’t for Grasshoppers hockey club and certain people involved, I don’t think I would be where I am right now as a person! I think they have helped me grow as a person and as a player. They have showed me that I can love the game again and I see a very positive future.