The value of playing field hockey overseas
Lucas Sevestre shared this quote with the Urū team back in September while sitting by the beautiful beach in Perth, Australia.
If you’re thinking of playing abroad, just do it. It’ll be one of the best experiences of your life… Getting to know the people and all the cultures will help you grow as a person as well, and hockey is an amazing thing to be around… to share experiences, to share your passion, and to meet new people. Just do it, go play abroad!
If you take anything away from Lucas’s amazing hockey story that we’re about to share, it should be this: the value of playing abroad is so much more than what happens on the field or during training. The significance of your experience will be a beautiful mix of athletics, culture, friendships, adventure, and professionalism. Not to mention, the personal growth you will enjoy as a result of embarking on your international journey will set you on track for lifelong success. It sounds like the only question you have to ask yourself is this:
What am I waiting for?
Field hockey opens doors to career opportunities on and off the field
Sevestre has some amazing insight on the beauty of letting your sport take you on journeys across the world, and not just as a player. He has also made his mark as a coach and as a marketing professional with Gryphon Hockey. Hockey initially opened the door for him to compete in South America, North America, Australia, India, and all through Europe as a member of the French National Team.
Next, club hockey took him on a global adventure; living, working and building meaningful relationships in France, Belgium, New Zealand and Australia, where he now lives (when he’s not traveling the world with Gryphon Hockey)! Lucas provided us with amazing information on what the hockey scene is like in all these locations, so keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming blog on what you can expect if you take the jump over to any of these countries!
Traveling with field hockey can be culturally eye-opening
Hockey was a part of his childhood from the start, and by age 16, he was playing for the French senior squad. Lucas’s early exposure to the international hockey stage as a member of the French National Team sparked the fire in him to see the world and play hockey in different, interesting places. As a member of the National team for five years, Lucas tells us the coolest hockey event he was able to witness and participate in was the 2012 Olympic Qualification in India. He recalls his amazing experience:
I was that young kid playing hockey for France and made it to India to hopefully qualify for the 2012 Olympic games in London. Just having the opportunity to go to India, which at that time I considered the best place for hockey in the world, I was on another planet! We walked into the stadium which held 20,000 people in capacity. We played in the final in front of 18,000 people and they were all cheering for India of course. It was just insane! I had never experienced anything like that before and I think that will always be one of my most powerful memories. Unfortunately we lost the finals so we didn’t qualify for the Olympics but throughout the whole tournament, the atmosphere in India regarding hockey was just outstanding and breathtaking. I would definitely count that as one of the best experiences of my life!
This story is a perfect example of just how eye-opening it can be to experience new cultures and places through sport! This isn’t something we want you to miss out on, and Urū Sports is on a mission to make sure you have access to amazing opportunities to play abroad.
The club field hockey scene in Belgium
After getting a taste for travel and hockey in other countries, Lucas decided to go play in Belgium. When telling us about his experience, Lucas emphasized the importance of the community spirit within a club. He said,
You play and train, and afterwards it is crucial to spend time with the team.
From his experience and that of so many other athletes who have played in Belgium, it is clear that the Belgians not only take hockey performance seriously, but greatly value the relationships made through sport. Lucas noted,
…(coaches and clubs) usually want you to be there more than a year because it’s the whole process of building relationships with people you’re playing with! It’s gonna be worth it and you’re going to enjoy the experience for sure!
The club field hockey scene in Australia
After playing in Belgium, Lucas traveled to play in Australia. He said,
I had always dreamed of going to Australia and experiencing the surfing lifestyle- the sun and beaches. Thanks to some connections, I went to Perth and friends hooked me up with one of the clubs there….(the club) arranged the entire thing for me to get to Perth and play a hockey season there and have the lifestyle I wanted!
Still, he recognizes that it isn’t this easy for athletes without connections, and he reckons that’s what makes Urū’s mission of breaking down the barriers so important! When he first arrived in Australia, he was surprised by the more causal structure of hockey there, as he had based his knowledge of the country’s hockey scene on the huge global success of the National Team. On the playing style in Australia, he says,
There’s a lot of freedom on the field – as a player, the physical intensity is always really high. You have to care a lot about the effort you put in on the pitch. It’s not as technical as the Belgian leagues.
The regional field hockey league in New Zealand
While in Australia in 2014, Lucas heard about the New Zealand Hockey League that would be held in December of that year. He decided he didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to participate so he flew over to play for the province of Wellington. On this experience, he told us,
I played a one-month competition over there which was very exciting. New Zealand is one of my favorite countries for everything it has to offer. The hockey over there was great and the tournament was very professional, serious and well organized. The level and competition, was very good for a national league!
Compliment your on-field field hockey career with an off-field professional career
From what we’ve heard, it’s more than clear that Lucas values the international journey as a player.
But he doesn’t end it there. He told Urū,
When we talk about the hockey community and sharing your passion, I reckon it is also crucial to think about your professional career.
He has first-hand experience that confirms this. The hockey community helped Lucas develop his future career with the G-Team, one of the largest hockey brands in the world. He says,
…as we all know, it is really hard to make money from hockey. There is a very small group of hockey players that can actually think of planning their whole lives around playing, so it is important to take into consideration that you have to work on the side if you want to keep enjoying the hockey lifestyle. The hockey community can definitely help you to develop your professional career…I mean I’m a pretty good example. I just wanted to play hockey in Australia and I ended up staying a year and a half and getting a job in the hockey community. And I really enjoy my lifestyle right now. I managed to play hockey, work, and have the lifestyle that I always dreamed of!
Cherish the community and amazing journey field hockey can take you on
Since we talked with Lucas, he’s been able to add even more countries and cities to the list of places he has explored. He rode up the Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, he camped like a cowboy in Western Australia, he dove into the Canadian Pacific Ocean. But above all, he says, “I’ve met incredible people to share minutes, hours, days, months and unforgettable experiences with…Big up for all the people who took part of this journey by my side.” For the past 16 months, he’s spent time filming these travel adventures and creating amazing videos to capture the memories forever. Watch the clip below to be taken on the journeys with him.
A big thank you to Lucas Sevestre for sharing his amazing experiences with us, and for his dedication to making the field hockey community accessible to as many athletes as possible.
If you’re ready to find out where field hockey can take you, it’s time to join Urū Sports.
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