Sport and operations

I was just debating. Being a baby officer, I think about being a growed up officer quite a bit.
At the moment a play a lot of hockey at county level, and recently I have received a lot of encouragement off my coach for taking it further. At the moment I have far too much going on in my life to be taking on more responsibilities with hockey. I play 5 times a week as it is.
With exams at school and my scholarship, I feel it is a higher priority for me to be concentrating on my school work whilst maintaining my fitness until I go to Sandhurst.
I will get to my point eventually.
I have been informed about the Army Hockey Association and I would be very keen to join once I'm green, but I am also wary of warnings from my cousin in the marines. He told me that if I got involved with hockey, then I will be heavily restricted on operations. Now I love hockey, absolutely love it, but equally I don't know whether I am prepared to sacrifice the best part of my career for it. I acknowledge that if I want to play hockey in the Army, there will be huge opportunities for me if I do well.
I know I shouldn't be worrying about it now, but I'm just curious about how it will affect my career if I choose to persue it once I am in the Army.
Any advice or knowledge on this from any of you cool green folk will be graciously accpeted and considered.

:D Al :D


Your decision will really depend on the level at which you will be playing as a senior, and its training commitment. I am not sure if hockey has a professional scene, but if you start to play professionally, then you may run into conflicts of interest, if for example your unit is deployed on a tour, but it is not impossible. The real issue would come if you think you might be international standard. The military has many international sports people over the years (Holmes, Akabussi, Rodber, Underwood are the better known household names) but the time commitment means that these people effectively traded their military career for their sport.

If you are not going to be at this level, then you should find that you can combine both. The bottom line is though that no one will force you to play, so you can decide how much and the level at which you want to play.
If you play at semi-professional level I have no doubt that the AGC would snap you up in a heartbeat. I know of a few 'Corps Sportsmen' who are readily given ample time off for training and competitions with apparently no penalty to their careers.

Remember Kelly Holmes transferred to the AGC and never sat behind a desk in her life!
I know of one guy who is pretty good at Judo and yes admitadly he is APTC/AGC but another good way of training he finds is by teaching it. If you think about it, yes it is important to have the correct fitness levels but to be really good at a sport it is a great advantage to have the teaching experance so that you will be able to know in a lot more detail where you are trying to get to. Myself I'm a runner and at the beginning I just ran, then I started going to a club (I still do) but now at that club I also find it really quite helpful to help other people because as well as helping them, you find out where you are making slight mistakes yourself. I am still compeating at British Blind Sport Level (BBS) so hopefully to be running at International Blind Spors Assoication Level. I know this is not the same as intergrating it into an Army life style but it still takes up a great deal of my time and I still have loads of time to go to Cadets, School and any other thing I wish. The question is: That yes you may think this is what you really want but is it? If you think about it, if you loved Hockey so much you would not be worried about your Army career because you would be happy enough just picking it up once you have finished with Hockey and know that you had been doing something that you have enjoyed.

Another point you may want to look at is how litely are you to get to International level?No disrespect intended. If it is not very litely well you don'tneed to worry, on the other hand if it is more than possable well enjoy both Hockey ad your Army career up until that point then g for gold on the world stage and just be greatful for the ARMY CAREER THAT YOUHAVE HAD.

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