A day in the life of Chloe Watkins

Chloe Watkins is pictured at the announcement of FBD Insurance’s sponsorship of Team Ireland which will run until the end of 2020 (2) copy.jpg

By Michelle Newman

“Normally I’m up at 7am unless I’ve training before work - I play for Monkstown Hockey Club - then I’d be up before 5:30am. I’ll have a quick shower and try to get a few minutes of stretching in as I’ll be sitting at a desk for a couple of hours a day. It makes a huge difference for injury prevention and I always feel a lot better afterwards. I change for work before making some breakfast and getting my lunch ready. On mornings that I train, I leave everything packed and ready the night before so I can just get up and go. I usually try to leave the house before 7:45am as I get the Luas into work and I’m usually in town by 8:40am.”

 “The first thing I do when I get to work is fill a water bottle and make a coffee. Then I check emails and start into whatever job I’m working on. I only started a few months ago so I’m still learning. Depending on whether I’m in the office or out on site, lunch can change but I bring it with me most days and try get out for some fresh air and stretch my legs.” 

“I’m working with a team so I get delegated various jobs, depending on what has come in. I’m at the basic level so it’s all pretty new, but there’s always someone there to help if I need it so there’s lots of support. I’ll have exams coming up in a few months so I’m enjoying the free evenings while I have them as I’ll need to start studying properly soon.”

 “I leave work at 5:30pm and head home for a quick change and something to eat as I train three nights a week on the pitch. The great thing about training is that it helps to distract you from whatever has happened in work or it can be hard to switch off in the evenings after studying, but an hour or two on the pitch really clears my head. It’s nice to get out for some exercise when you’ve been inside all day but in winter it’s a bit tougher. Then it’s home for a shower and a cup of tea to warm up, I’m a big fan of herbal tea; green tea with lemon is my favourite.”

 “I’ll have a club match at the weekend and normally a national session on a Sunday which consists of two, two-hour pitch sessions and a video analysis meeting. We train in blocks, so since October we have been training regionally on Wednesday evenings and as a whole squad every Sunday. This is all geared towards our upcoming Olympic qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 next year. It’s a tough process to qualify and it has never been done before for an Irish women’s hockey team so we are all extremely motivated towards achieving this goal. The first round will be in June, and depending on our finishing position and world ranking, the final qualifier will be in October 2019.” 

“It can be pretty hectic with training but being a member of the national squad has allowed me travel all over the world. Training camps and tournaments abroad are far from a holiday but it’s still nice to see different parts of the world, even if it’s only for a few hours here or there when on a trip.”

 “I’m not a huge TV fan because I tend to lose interest or miss episodes as a series goes on but I like watching I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here when it’s on and if I’m in on a Friday The Graham Norton Show is one of my favourites. I’m also a big Liverpool FC fan so I love watching them play whenever I can. Last Christmas, I went over to Anfield with my brother for a game, we did the stadium tour for the first time which was great. I also love trying out any new coffee spots that open up in Dublin. I lived in Amsterdam last year and the coffee scene is very strong over there. Dublin is definitely catching up and getting better each year.”

“I’ve learnt so many other skills through my time with the Irish team that have really stood to me during stressful periods, such as exams or in work. It’s been said before, but playing sport at a high level really helps you to develop skills like resilience, leadership and time management. We could be away for a few weeks at a time for a major tournament or qualifier in an intense environment with 25 other people, so you have to learn to communicate effectively and deal with different challenges, while also creating a supportive team culture.”

Catherine Devane