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International Womens Day

International Womens Day

Day #4 – 7 Days of the Women of MCC Hockey for IWD 2023.

Rachel McLeary

Rachel is another Nunawading McKinnon Trophy winner, volunteers across the junior and senior Women’s sections, and is a Women’s Pennant player. Rachel joined MCC Hockey when she returned to Australia with partner (Duncan) “He had been playing in the UK and MCC had a few connections with teams over there so having those links helps to bring overseas players to the club. I think that Ex Pat link has created a few marriages over the years!”

Rach identifies her early PE teachers as key role models who have shaped her involvement in sport, and perhaps also influenced her career choice given Rach is also a teacher “I had 2 fantastic female PE teachers from High school who were great role models for me. They taught me how to be a fair and compassionate competitor and built strong relationships to really know their students. They gave us the opportunity to play a lot of different sports and that led me to enjoy hockey the most. My PE teacher was were able to lead me into playing for a club”

Speaking about how women and girls participation in hockey, Rach talked about the role of relationships “Barriers for girls to play sport need to be reduced to help them participate more. We need to create safe, inclusive spaces for girls to thrive. That involves making connections and building relationships with young people to get them engaged and give them opportunities at whatever level they want to compete at”.

Connections and Relationships comes up again, with Rach identifying this as a key reason why she stays involved with the club “I have made so many friends and connections with players at MCC. Some of those players still play here and some now at other clubs. But no matter where you play you always manage to reconnect with people you know which is always nice. And MCC in particular reaches out to so many people in Melbourne. With their links to other sports and organisations it really feels like an extended family.”

On her proudest moment, it isn’t the premierships she has won that she remembers “I have been involved in a few grand finals; won some, lost some, captained, coached. But playing with my eldest daughter in her first senior women’s hockey game was a highlight and I still have 1 more goal and that is to play with my youngest daughter who is almost ready to play seniors in the next few seasons”.

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