When Lilly Holmes’ mum received an email from the Sunday Times revealing that she had been shortlisted for the prestigious Sportswomen of the Year awards it came as “a complete shock” for the 13-year-old hockey player.
That she was nominated for the Young Inspiration Award was down to her initiative in the UK’s first lockdown when the Redmaids’ High School, Bristol schoolgirl posted daily skills videos – for closing in on 150 successive days. After all, her Twitter profile does read that it’s “Hockey Allday Everyday”.
“It started off as a daily challenge to keep me focused and give me some form of a Covid diary,” the Clifton Robinsons junior tells THP. “I had just found out I had been selected for PC Trials so was keen to keep my hockey up ready for those. I thought it would be for a few weeks or a month I never imagined it would last 135 days but it was good fun and I’m really glad I did it.”
Her skills and drills involved obstacle courses and motivation to better herself at dragflicking, aerials and shooting. Now she is back in lockdown 2.0 with more daily challenges.
She says: “I’ve had so many positive comments from last time it’s only right I do it again. I’m also going to do something with England Hockey for skills to do at home if you have limited space and equipment making it accessible to everyone.”
Lilly says she is lucky to have the garden space but believes there are still plenty of ways to keep active until hopefully hockey can return next month.
“This time it’s going to be hard to keep active as the nights are dark and weather isn’t great so it makes it harder to get outside, but that’s even more reason to try as I find it really helps my wellbeing by keeping active,” she reveals.
“If you don’t have a garden just getting out for a run at the weekend or walking to school all help and you feel much better afterwards. There are lots of hockey skills you can do inside with just a stick and a ball. If you find something you love doing you will find a way!”
Lilly’s mum, Carolyn, said her daughter, who first started playing aged seven, was “unstoppable” during hockey’s first lockdown and it was clear that she was outside practising for hours.
The award category she is up for is testament to that and there is still another week before voting closes on November 16 to help her pick up the award at the Sunday Times virtual ceremony on the 25th.
“I’m truly honored to be in the final four so I’ve already won regardless of the outcome,” she adds.
Vote for Lilly now at sportswomenoftheyear.co.uk