Our Assistant Director of Sport, Mrs Fiona Gee recently returned from touring America with the Scotland Lacrosse Team. Mrs Gee joined Wycombe Abbey in September from St. Albans High School for Girls where she was Head of Lacrosse and Acting Second in Department. Mrs Gee has brought a wealth of coaching knowledge and expertise to our PE Department, in addition to her personal playing experiences. Mrs Gee has represented Scotland at the European Championships and World Cups, earning over 40 Senior International Caps. Upon her return from the USA, we heard from Mrs Gee about Scotland's preparations for the forthcoming 2017 lacrosse world cup.
You are involved in the Scotland lacrosse team, what is your current role?
I am currently the Team Manager. This involves a lot of admin including booking training pitches and facilities, budgeting for the season, finding sponsors and clothing suppliers. I also support both the players and coaching staff at training and competition, this could include anything from taking stats and warming up goalies, to filling up water bottles and finding their coats on the side line. I previously played for Scotland for 12 years so know all the little things that make it easier for players to focus on their task so my aim as manager is to take the distractions away from the players.
What were the highlights of the USA tour?
As a squad, we finished the tour unbeaten, a statistic any team would love to achieve. However, away from the pitch, our team hike through Yosemite was certainly a highlight. We organised the hike for two main reasons; firstly for fitness, and secondly for team building. A tour is not just about playing lacrosse and improving on the pitch, but also getting to know your teammates as individuals off the pitch. As a team, when you allow yourself to step outside your comfort zone and face a new challenge together, you begin to understand what makes your teammates tick, how best to support each other and an individual's strengths and weaknesses. Yosemite provided the team with a chance to develop as a unit, giving us time away from the pitch in beautiful surroundings.
What are Scotland's hopes for the World Cup?
Our aim is to play excellent lacrosse throughout the tournament, putting into practice all that we have worked on as a team in preparation, and ultimately to medal. We know it is going to be tough but with a talented and experienced squad, we are confident that we have the skills to achieve our goal.
At what age did you start playing lacrosse?
I began playing lacrosse at 11 when I was at St Albans High School. I played for the school and later for Hertfordshire County. At the age of 16 I began playing for Scotland.
What was your first lacrosse memory?
I remember being given my first lacrosse stick. It was wooden with white leathers and yellow strings. We spent the first lesson learning how to throw and catch, before being shown how to oil our stick and apply Vaseline to the leathers to keep the stick in top condition. The equipment has changed a lot since then!
Where on the pitch do you prefer to play?
I've played all over the pitch, including in goal. I really enjoy playing straight defence. The teamwork needed from the defensive unit is huge and you are never alone. I love fighting for ground balls and driving it out from defence. Double teams are also so satisfying to complete.
Do you think your son will follow in your lacrosse footsteps?
Cameron's nearly two now and already has his own stick! He is working on picking up the ball, although he is still currently using his hand to do this! If lacrosse is his sport then great, but if not that's ok, I want him to find the sport that he enjoys and has a passion for, just like I do for lacrosse and my husband does for swimming.
What advice would you give to any of our Wycombe Abbey lacrosse players keen to play internationally?
Share your dream with someone.
I always wanted to play for my country and just kept working hard. I wasn't the fastest when I was younger and definitely not the tallest but I found my own set of skills and worked hard to improve on my weaknesses. I tried to use all the feedback I was given and was determined to succeed. I've had some setbacks and at times questioned if I would make it to where I wanted to be, but my close friends and family were always there to help me on my way and reminded me of my dream.
Lots of people say that you have to sacrifice a lot to be an international elite player, but when I look at my career, I never feel like I sacrificed anything. I made choices that made me happy.