Great Britain women’s hockey team has received an “enormous boost” six months out from the Tokyo Olympics after Vitality was unveiled as the side’s new sponsor in a landmark three-year deal.
The health, life and investment company will also become the title partner of England’s top women’s hockey league and will act as the presenting partner during Great Britain’s women and men’s matches in hockey’s global Pro League competition.
Banking firm Investec ended its nine-year partnership with the women’s team in April last year, having renewed its sponsorship after the side’s momentous gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Alex Danson-Bennett, who was one of the squad members from that side, believes Vitality’s involvement will act as a huge stimulus for the side as it aims to defend its title at the rescheduled Tokyo Games in July.
“We’re six months out from an Olympic Games and a big headline sponsor has stood up and said, ‘We believe in you,’” said Danson-Bennett.
“For the team who are training remotely, it’s a very challenging time in elite sport — it’s challenging for everyone in the world — but that is going to give the team an enormous boost moving into what is going to be a really exciting year.”
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacting global competition, Great Britain’s women showed notable signs of improvement when they played out an encouraging draw against world champions Holland last October. The team is poised to return to action on May 8 when they host China at Stratford’s Lee Valley Olympic Park, where they will resume preparations for the Tokyo Games.
“I actually think the Olympics delay will really support our women’s team,” insisted Danson-Bennett. “Our women’s team pride themselves on adaptability. Twelve months on, I think they’ll be in a good opportunity, come Tokyo, to do something special again.”
Danson-Bennett suffered a life altering concussion in 2018 after hitting her head on a brick wall in a freak incident while on holiday with her then fiancé, Alex Bennett.
Having announced her retirement from hockey a year ago, she now manages her brain health holistically through regular mindfulness and exercise, although she still experiences post-concussion symptoms such as chronic migraines.
“I’m a different human since my head injury. I’m better, I’m still improving, which is why I believe I’ll make a full recovery,” said Danson-Bennett, who hopes to share her experience from concussion through her new role as a Vitality ambassador.
“My biggest problems are light sensitivity and headaches – I still get headaches everyday but I manage them. Had I not had that head injury, I would probably still be training for Tokyo.”
Source: The Telegraph Travels