Donna-Lee strikes again

For Broken Hill hockey player, Donna-Lee, the last few months have been anything but usual. From making the South Australian team for the National Hockey Master’s competition, to later resigning her position, Donna-Lee talks to the Truth about how her hockey season is playing out in 2023.

She learned several months ago she’d been selected to play for South Australia in the Master’s Competition, but due to work commitments, she then had to resign her position.

“I had to be realistic about my work commitments this year, I’ve played Master’s once before, and I’ve made the team again, but I need to be in my business to create the financial backing to do it.”

A huge restructure in Donna-Lee’s business this year has resulted in a significantly increased workload, which meant the same level of commitment she had for the dual obligations of Master’s and her business in 2022 was not realistic this year.

Notwithstanding that, Donna-Lee says, “during the trials, I was told that my game has improved and that it was noticeable that I’ve been training”.

She had begun experimenting with her game by changing positions from a winger to an inner, with great success.

This made the decision to resign her position even more difficult, but she was reassured there are many players who play bi-annually, so not playing this year would not adversely affect her prospects of success in the 2024 trials, should she choose to give them a go.

“I decided that this year, I’ll play the year out and look for joy, with no pressure.”

With no local hockey competition currently running, Donna-Lee contacted Rivaside Raiders in Mildura, and quickly found herself a spot on a team.

“I decided that this year, I’ll play the year out and look for joy, with no pressure.”

On Sunday July 9 Donna-Lee played her second game for the Raiders, against Rivaside Ravens. The Raiders won 13-3, with Donna-Lee scoring five of those goals.

“The score doesn’t represent the competitiveness of the game, there was lots of great passing and the opposition played well, but we capitalised on our opportunities,” she says.

In the Combined A-B Women’s Division, five-team competition, the top and bottom teams will be divided to allow for two finals sessions, meaning all teams in the competition can make it to finals.

Donna-Lee played for the Raiders again last Sunday, and she will be playing over the next three Sundays to qualify for the finals, with some games to spare.

“It’s been lovely turning up to play with welcoming team-mates and without any pressure, because it’s no longer a mission about doing this for a goal, but instead I can relax and be happy that I get to just play hockey,” she said.

“In my business, I teach people about presence, and in my recent game with the Raiders, I realised what presence actually meant for me,” she added.

With the acceptance that “I just can’t do everything as much as I think I can,” Donna-Lee will be striking new goals this year, in anticipation for a busy 2024.

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