Twigg hoping Surbiton Hockey fundraising drive will inspire the future

Olympic gold medallist Georgie Twigg and her Surbiton teammates are taking matters into their own hands as they prepare to host a prestigious hockey tournament next year.

The Kingston club will host the 2018 EuroHockey Club Cup next May and are hosting a fundraising night on Saturday November 4 to help pay for the event.

An auction will take place during the evening, with items signed by several sports stars including Lewis Hamilton and the British & Irish Lions rugby team.

The ladies team, who are currently top of the women’s premier division, have a target of £15,000 and Twigg and her fellow players have risen to the challenge.

Twigg said: “I’ve taken a big role in the auction side of things.

“Emily Atkinson and Sarah Haycroft our captain have been key in driving the organisation for this event but also for the club Europeans generally.

“As the first team, we get quite a lot of priority and we are treated very well.

“It’s our way of giving back – taking ownership and raising money.”

Items can be bid for on the dedicated Twitter account.

One item up for grabs is a Great Britain shirt worn by Hollie Webb – scorer of the winning penalty in the Olympic final in Rio.

The top is signed by several international players and has already fetched £1000, showing that the public have not forgotten Team GB’s feats last summer.

With the 2018 Women’s World Cup coming to London next July, Twigg recognises that this is a golden opportunity to raise the profile of hockey in the UK.

She said: “Clearly the interest is still there.

“Hopefully because there is more interest in hockey as a whole, then more people will want to get behind us at Surbiton.

“It’s brilliant for hockey in the UK and hopefully it will generate excitement for the world cup as well.”

Enthusiasm for hockey is not in short supply at Surbiton, who boast the reigning champions in both men’s and women’s premier divisions.

Yet the real success can be found in the club’s community ethos.

Olympians mix with colts in the clubhouse every weekend, and Twigg believes this is invaluable when running events like Saturday.

She said: “It’s my sixth season here and it’s such a family club.

“Everyone is around at the weekend wanting to support one another and all the people that help out and volunteer are crucial to something like a hockey club.

“We’re relying a lot on volunteers but fundamentally there is going to be a lot of cost involved – especially if we want to put on a good show!”

Twigg has been ever-present in a Surbiton side aiming for a fifth consecutive title and the ladies have already opened up a three point lead at the top of the league.

The Olympian is halfway through a two-year law training contract and has taken a break from playing for the national team until it is completed.

After a decorated international career spanning seven years, Twigg has yet to decide whether she will continue at the highest level.

She said: “To be honest I haven’t made my decision yet what I’m going to do.

“It’s still up in the air, I’m not sure whether that’s it.”

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