Sport clearly runs in the Holmes family as the three sisters from Durham have all recently been selected to play hockey at county or regional level on account of their skill and passion for the sport.
The three Holmes sisters, Lottie (year 12), Maddy (year 10) and Darcy (year 7) are absolutely mad about hockey. Having all started the sport from ages as young as four, they developed their passion at Durham City Juniors club and continued the sport at Durham School. After years of hard work and dedication, the Holmes sisters sporting talents have not gone unnoticed. The eldest of the trio, Lottie, has been selected for the under 17 county squad, Darcy will be representing the under 13 county team and Maddy will join the under 15’s at a regional level.
When asked to describe how it feels playing county hockey, Lottie, who has played in the county team for six years claims that it feels surreal to still be playing at that level.
Lottie said, “At Durham school, the amount of training varies depending on the time of year. Currently I am doing four hours of hockey at school alone. It can be challenging at times because of the winter weather, but I still manage to have fun no matter how cold my hands are. This year I hope to maintain the skills that I have and practise them to put me in good stead for the for next season to come. This will sadly be my last season at Durham School but I would like to be Durham School hockey captain next season. Going forward I would like to continue playing at university and at club level.”
Speaking about her experience with hockey, middle sister Maddy said, “It is very competitive to be selected to play county which means that my place is never guaranteed. Therefore, I need to keep my skills and fitness up during these difficult times, but I am still very proud I have made it this far. I love playing hockey at school, our team is very close on and off the pitch which makes the experience all the more enjoyable. My coaches are incredible, and I feel very fortunate to have them coaching us this year. Whilst I don’t have any specific role models, I do look up to my coaches, Katie and Kerry-Anne, who both play at international level for England and Scotland.”
The two coaches, Kerry-Anne and Katie, are Durham University students and top-level athletes, who are currently in Durham Uni First hockey team. Kerry-Anne and Katie are kept busy by the pupils at Durham School, whilst they primarily coach hockey, they also help the pupils with academics, wellbeing, and general duties around the houses.
Darcy, the youngest of the sisters said, “I started playing hockey because I used to go and watch my sisters play. Since then I have progressed as a player in many aspects of the game such as tackling, shooting and passing. I would like to get better and hopefully learn new skills so I can continue to play at this level next year too. Looking to the future, I would love to follow in my sister’s footsteps and continue playing county and maybe even regional level if I could. Playing the same sport as my sisters is great because it’s fun to play against them and learn new skills from them. It sometimes gets competitive but it’s still enjoyable.”
The mother of the three sisters, Mrs Holmes, shares her daughters’ passion for hockey and participated in sport throughout her school and university life. Mrs Holmes is extremely proud of the girls for what they have achieved as she has witnessed first-hand the time and effort the girls have all put in. Even lockdown did not dampen the girls’ sporting spirit as Mrs Holmes said that they all practised on the small Astroturf that they have at their home.
When asked what it was like to be a part of a sporty family, Mrs Holmes said, “It is lovely that we are all interested in sport. When Lottie turned 13, she was old enough to join the senior training at Durham City. She was a little hesitant, as she didn’t know many people there, so I decided to go too after 20 years off the pitch. I thoroughly enjoyed it! We train and play matches together along with Maddy. Darcy is insisting I keep going until she’s old enough so we can all go together! It’s been a real bonding experience and the girls help me learn new tricks and skills they get taught as the game has changed quite a bit.”
Whilst none of the girls are fully sure of what they would like to do later in life, they are excited to continue on their county and regional hockey journeys. Maddy sums up their futures well: “I think hockey is one of those things we’ll never give up!”
If you are interested in finding out more about Durham School, please visit our website: www.durhamschool.co.uk