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The Women's Sports Alliance

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Katie Robertson: A Story Of Horses, Hockey And The Power Of Perseverance

“When I took time out in 2018 (to finish studies) I didn't think I’d ever go back to hockey,” Scotland vice-captain Katie Robertson tells the WSA. “To return, fight without funding, go through Covid and then make it to play for Great Britain, makes me very proud.”



Katie Robertson women's hockey player women's sport

Image courtesy of @katierob96


As a child Katie Robertson dreamed of international success, but those early aspirations centred on her ambitions of becoming Britain’s next show jumping star.


Results in those early years suggested she was certainly on the right path, but her journey was to take a surprise turn, after a shock fall and concussion.


Two weeks after helping the Great Britain team claim an age-group European Championship title the then 14-year-old tumbled from her horse, which subsequently fell on her.


The teenager was left with a couple of broken bones, a heavy concussion and suffering from an understandable loss of confidence.


She would never ride competitively again, but instead chose to focus on another passion from earlier in her childhood – hockey.


12 years on from the accident, she is now 64-time capped Scottish international who is on the brink of her British debut and in contention for a place at the Paris 2024 Olympics.


The WSA recently spoke with Katie about her incredible story and the perseverance it has taken.


female hockey players women's sport

Image courtesy of @katierob96


Q – Your journey towards the summit of a ‘second’ sport is astounding. How much pride do you take in what you have overcome and achieved?


“It's a privilege and an honour to be part of the GB programme. I’m proud of myself, but also I’m proud of everyone that's helped me along the way."


“When the accident happened, the horse fell on top of me and I broke my shoulder as well as my collarbone. I was also knocked out for about seven minutes, so it was a very bad concussion and I lost a lot of confidence."


“I was playing hockey at the time socially and Pauline Stott, who’s an ex-Olympian herself, was my PE teacher at the time at school and she took me to a club in Dundee and it really started from there."


“Show jumping was quite an individual sport and I loved the team event, so I knew I wanted to go into a team sport in the future."


“Hockey was perfect so I kept at it and progressed in Scotland from under 16’s, 18’s and 20’s through to the senior side.”


Women's sport hockey players

Image courtesy of @katierob96


Q – And you have really committed to this period of your career in the hopes of attaining a place in the squad for the Paris 2024 Olympics! Subject to reaching the Games via the qualification tournament in January…


“It's not been an easy journey; I've moved my life from Scotland and gone down south (to Bisham), away from my family and my boyfriend but I have absolutely no regrets."


“It’s an interesting time to join as a lot of the girls have been in the squad for a few years and have really already gelled, but they’ve been really welcoming and supportive which has helped me a lot."


“I'm loving every moment and nine months from the Olympics, we’re hoping that it’s going to be a realistic possibility next year!”


Q – I mean, how tangible does that feel? Now, you've obviously bought into it, you've invested in it, how incredible would it be able to go that that final step and get to a Games with what is traditionally such a strong and very successful British team?


“I was basically told it was a long shot to come down and reach Paris, but I knew I had to give myself that chance and I thought ‘what do I have to lose?!"


“I've settled into the squad quite well over the last few weeks and being part of a full-time programme with the girls every day, many of whom have won multiple Olympic medals, has really brought on my game."


“We have the Pro League, then the Olympic qualifiers and we just want to keep the ball rolling to maintain that momentum up to Paris.”


Women's hockey players in team huddle

Image courtesy of @katierob96


Q – How much pride you take from being able to represent Scotland with Great Britain and showing that pathway is very much possible.


“Yeah, definitely, I think there are five Scotland girls here which is a lot more than we’ve had in a long time,” Katie tells the WSA.


“It’s great for younger girls coming through in Scotland to see that it's perfectly possible to be part of the full-time GB programme.


“I hope they can take pride in that and be inspired to follow that path themselves.”


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