Kim Leiper’s Field Hockey Story
Continue reading to hear how one English-born hockey player took the LEAP to Perth, Australia, and ended up bringing home a lot more than just a phenomenal athletic experience.
Kim Leiper is a talented hockey player from the UK who has had the chance to travel around the world with her sport. She started with the Beeston Hockey Club when she was 15 years old, then went on to play for Loughborough University for three years, captaining the side for two of them. She has played England Juniors up to U23, during which she played in various tournaments throughout Europe, including winning the Bronze Medal in the Europeans in Belgium!
While on her placement year in 2015, she played first for Holcombe Hockey Club. Then she went to Perth, Australia to compete for Old Aquinians. Now back at university in England and playing for Leicester Hockey Club, Kim cannot wait to find her next opportunity to play abroad through Uru Sports.
Lucking into an experience of her lifetime
Kim tells us that she found the opportunity to play field hockey in Australia quite casually, saying,
I was given the email of the head coach at the club in Perth from a friend who’d also been in touch with him, he offered me a deal and I took it.
This randomness of “knowing someone who knew someone else” resulted in Kim’s favorite abroad experience yet! Recalling her time in Perth, Kim notes that,
Not only was the league a high standard but Western Australia is beautiful and I had an incredible time living out there. I was lucky enough to play in the Australian Hockey League (AHL) whilst I was out there for Northern Territory and even captain their side as an import.
Australian moments had on and off the field
During the AHL, Kim also encountered one of the most stereotypical “Australian moments.” She popped into the clubhouse in Perth to talk to her teammates in there, and there was a man holding a baby Wallaby wrapped up in a blanket. He’d found him on the side of the road and was going to nurse it back to health!… How Australian hey!
And unbeatable experiences had in the Gryphon office
Along with the experiences of amazing scenery, new cultures/animals and intense hockey, Kim also worked in the Gryphon headquarters as a product designer while in Perth! Kim was sponsored in England by Gryphon UK, so when she voiced that she was going to play for a season in Australia, the Gryphon family, which extends globally, was interested in tapping into her skillset during her stint abroad. Gryphon’s global brand manager, Lucas Sevestre, said that Kim,
Brings a fresh atmosphere to the product design team. She has been an awesome person to work with…the brand has definitely benefited from her work over the last year. She is a great fit in the G-Team!
Kim’s opportunity to play hockey abroad was complemented by the ability to contribute to an international business, both of which will continue to benefit her future athletic and professional careers.
Already has received multiple field hockey offers for next season through Uru Sports
Kim had heard of Uru Sports whist out in Australia, and soon after she met Ainsley McCallister, Uru’s Founder, while they were both playing for the All-Stars team in Perth. Since returning to the UK after her stint abroad, Kim has set up her Uru Sports profile and has already been contacted by clubs back in Perth about returning for next season. Uru Sports has also helped her explore opportunities in New Zealand and throughout Europe for next season. Kim says, “Knowing Ainsley and Uru has really opened up potential opportunities. She is incredibly helpful!”
Why does Kim Leiper think you should use Uru to play field hockey overseas? She says,
Playing abroad was one of the best decisions I ever made. It was incredibly worthwhile for both my hockey and life experience. Now that I am back I am just wondering when I can go back to Perth or when I can have another opportunity to play in a different country.
Kim also mentioned the range of people and cultures she was able to meet and experience while playing abroad:
I met imports from Argentina, Italy, elsewhere in the UK who I didn’t know from before, the USA, South Africa, Japan and probably more.
Playing field hockey abroad is an invaluable experience. Do it.
Kim says she’s certainly not alone in valuing her abroad experience, stating that the life-long friends she met would absolutely encourage anybody to go and play or even coach in a different country.
The Uru team thanks Kim for sharing her story and wishes her all the best in her final year at University of Loughborough and in competing for Leicester HC. We look forward to connecting her with another stint abroad with a team of great fit!
Sign up with Uru Sports and you can follow Kim’s and other athlete’s journeys as they make moves across the globe. Also start your own overseas journey today and find your next playing position from across the world.
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