Q&A with new TTP Team member Lauren Hunt, GB Hockey and Birmingham University alumni
To kick us off, tell us a bit about yourself, the Lauren Hunt journey so far ~
Yeah absolutely! So I played for England Hockey, I did U16s straight through to the U18s set up, and then went on to play with the GB U23 Elite Development Squad. I studied at Birmingham and had a great time playing for the first team there for 4 years. In my third and fourth year I was fortunate enough to captain the University of Birmingham 1st XI team just before COVID hit and caused havoc with all the university sports fixtures.
The pandemic certainly altered sport as we know it – reflecting on your hockey career, are there any particular ‘stand-out’ moments for you?
One of the biggest moments for me came whilst I was still at school actually. My sister and I both play hockey, and when I was at school, we won the National Championships. It was really special to have achieved that with her by my side on the pitch.
I’d have to say though, my biggest achievements was winning bronze with the England U18 squad that went out to the 2016 European Championships. We travelled across to Ireland for the tournament and it holds so many great memories for me!
In terms of my varsity career, we won the BUCS North Hockey League in my first year and made it to the Bigs BUCS Wednesday Championship Final during my second year. Unfortunately we lost to Loughborough but there was so many people that came down to watch that game, the crowd was massive and the atmosphere was just incredible!
BUCS sport holds fond memories for a lot of our athlete community, and leaving that environment can sometimes be tough. What did the next steps look like for you post uni?
I made the decision to move back home to Manchester. Before I went to uni, I played at Bowdon Hockey Club, which were the longest standing side in the Premier Division. During that period, it was sort of the point where I needed to think about what life outside of hockey might look like. Hockey isn’t professional at all, or at least not from a club sense. If you’re not a full time GB player, then there’s no money in it so knowing that it’s financially very hard to make a career out of the sport I’ve always had to learn to balance other commitments alongside it.
After graduating and moving back I was working for a hockey company. I really enjoyed it but I wanted more responsibility in a career, so I started to look for other opportunities which is when I came across The Transition Phase. I was so drawn to the company because it’s a really good way for me to help people that are in the same position that I was upon graduating – we don’t all have masses of ‘work experience’ but through TTP we can link student-athletes to clients who really appreciate the transferrable skills we gain from our sport.
Absolutely, we are so pleased to have you on board as our newest Athlete Relationship Manager! To wrap up our Q&A I was wondering, is there any advice you’d give to your younger self, or other athletes thinking about their next steps?
So my sister is a full time athlete in the GB hockey squad now, and she’s just been picked for the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games over the summer. However, before her recent success she suffered a lot of set backs, having been in and out of the squad a few times. However she really persevered with it and, and it’s massively paid off for her. So I guess the advice I’d give is, if you really want something, then it’s definitely worth persevering with and fighting for.