A love of hockey that was born on Barden Park when she was just five years of age has blossomed for Tracey Hardie-Jones who has followed her lifelong dream.
On Friday, March 26, Tracey’s dream becomes a reality when she enters camp with her Australian teammates ahead of the Masters Hockey World Cup in Canberra.
“I have always played hockey,” Tracey reflected. “Ever since Levinia Howey taught me how to hold a stick I have wanted to play the game and now I think I am keener than ever.”
Tracey’s selection in the Aussie team comes at an opportune time after a gruelling off-season that has her physically and mentally prepared.
“I am probably fitter than I have been for years. I set myself some goals and with Len Wilkinson drilling me on skills and Rod Fardell driving me to near-exhaustion I feel I am really at my peak.”
“I know what I want to do and now I feel like I have the legs to do it,” she said.
“I have been running with the Dubbo Blue Jays as well and played my first Premier league match for quite a few years at Lithgow on the weekend. It was fun. There is so much talent in our local teams nowadays.”
Tracey played in the Blue Jays State league predecessors the Railway Steamers and The Bees and during that time represented NSW and Australia in Masters events including at the Champions Trophy.
Tracey will join more than a thousand players from all over the world striving to eke out a medal for their home country.
The Aussie girls face a tough task having to play two matches each against Wales, England and New Zealand before it comes to the play-offs.
“I would be happy to bring home any medal,” she chuckled, “but a gold one would be extra special!”
Tracey’s contribution as a player was recognised by the city in 2014 when she was named Dubbo Sportsperson of the Year in 2014.
“I was very proud of that honour,” Tracey spoke with respect. "That year I played in the Champions Trophy after being a shadow for the 2004 World Cup in England.”
“Representing Australia has always been my dream and now, I can hardly believe it, my hard work has paid off and I am in the green and gold.”