The Countess of Wessex visited England Hockey at its base at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, Buckinghamshire, on Tuesday.
The Countess, wife of Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex, has been Royal Patron of England Hockey since 2007 and is also patron of a number of other sports.
During her visit The Countess of Wessex also took the hockey pitch, playing with England player Shona McCallin.
“I always really enjoyed playing hockey, it’s so much more than just a team sport. Hockey has a great social side and is a thoroughly enjoyable game to both play and watch,” the Countess said.
After watching the women’s squad train; talking to the both teams’ coaches Bobby Crutchley and Jason Lee, and team captains Barry Middleton and Kate Richardson-Walsh;, the Countess went on to meet other staff and players at Bisham Abbey.
England Hockey, which benefits from funding from Sport England at grass roots level, and UK Sport at elite level, also moves into a new Olympic legacy venue this summer for hosting major events – Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The first event to be held at the venue will be the Investec London Cup, in July, in which both England’s men’s and women’s teams will feature.