Get To Know Olympic Bronze Medalist Fiona Crackles
2. Where were you born?
3. Sporting idol?
My school PE teacher Mrs Blackburn
4. What stick do you use?
Grays GR10000 Dynabow
5. What shoes do you wear?
6. What position do you play?
Screen / midfield
7. Biggest sporting highlight?
Winning Olympic bronze medal
8. If you could play another sport, what would you play?
I’d love to be a world class tennis player – a very exciting sport to watch
9. Scone: jam then cream or cream then jam?
Definitely jam then a big dollop of cream
10. Ski slopes or beach?
Talk us through your journey from Cumbria to Tokyo. Have you had any major setbacks? Who have been the most influential people?
I started playing for my local hockey club, Kirkby Lonsdale HC, a small club led by amazing volunteers (mums and dads). I joined as young as I could around age 7 because my two older brothers played, and I just wanted to be like them. My mum also helped with coaching and umpiring so hockey quickly became a whole family affair.
Hockey at school wasn’t too serious so club hockey became very important for my development which slowly led to travelling further afar for my club training. For my final two years of secondary school, I played at Ben Rhydding HC (an hour drive) to play national league ladies’ hockey which facilitated my development by continuously pushing me to improve. Although school hockey wasn’t serious, I had an amazing PE teacher who taught me invaluable lessons of working hard, getting stuck in and resilience when things don’t seem to be going my way; while always keeping me grounded.
After playing for a total of 4 years of junior international hockey for England U16 and U18 I had a big injury setback with my lower back that took around a year of rehab to get back playing. It is always tough not being able to play while you watch all your teammates and friends playing but focusing on comparing yourself to yourself and how you are stronger than the week before is the best way to get through these situations.
What advice you would give to an aspiring junior player?
My biggest advice for an aspiring junior hockey player is to keep working hard, grab every opportunity with both hands and always enjoy yourself while you’re doing it!