Mason was in London to speak to the families of potential 2012 Olympians as part of P&G’s ‘nearest & dearest’ campaign.
THREE-time Olympian Simon Mason might have hung up his international hockey stick seven years ago – but his influence will live on this summer after he lent a helping hand to some London 2012 hopefuls.
The 38-year-old (note 39 on March 30) appeared over 200 times for his country in a 12-year career which included outings at the Olympics in Atlanta, Sydney and Athens between 1996 and 2004.
Mason was in London this week to speak to the families of potential 2012 Olympians as part of P&G’s ‘nearest & dearest’ campaign, which looks to ready them for the sheer scale of a Games.
With three Olympics to his name Mason is well placed to offer insight into the experience and was on hand to give advice to, among others, the family of reigning Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu.
And, with Mason only too aware of the well-meaning distraction a family can cause at Games-time, the 38-year-old was only too happy to have his brains picked.
“It was a great evening and we had 50 or 60 people attend and it was great to be able to help out with some of the families of the London 2012 athletes,” said Mason.
“I think it is a crucial scheme because when you are athlete you need to be in a bubble and sometime friends and families can affect that.
“Unfortunately the people that are closest to you can sometimes not understand exactly what it is you need.
“When it comes to the media side of things an athlete knows what the guidelines are but for the family there isn’t always a great deal to help them.
“So to be able to tell the family what to expect and what their son or daughter needs was fantastic and hopefully it can have a good impact this summer.”
Despite having quit internationally in 2005, Mason is still heavily involved as the president of the England Hockey Board and admits being part of the game he loves still is a dream scenario.
And, while quick to point out ensuring success on the pitch is beyond his remit, he is still predicting a medal-laden summer for the British men’s and women’s teams.
“I definitely believe that both the women’s and the men’s squads can be challenging for the podium at London 2012 this summer,” he added.
“I love being involved in the game but I can’t claim to have any influence over events on the pitch as my role is more of an administrative one.
“But I am loving it. I loved playing the game and now I am really enjoying the opportunity to stay involved.”
Simon Mason was speaking at the London North leg of the ‘nearest & dearest’ roadshow in partnership with P&G – supporting family and friends of all Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes in the lead up to London 2012. Visit www.pgproudsponsorofmums.co.uk for more information.