Kenny calls time on Hockeyroos

Published 4:28pm 13 October 2020

Kenny calls time on Hockeyroos
Words by Nick Crockford

Burpengary’s Jodie Kenny, the Australian Hockeyroos' co-captain and second highest goal scorer, has announced her retirement from international hockey.

Kenny, who was born and brought up in Wamuran, spent 10 years playing for the Hockeyroos and leaves as the teams' eighth most capped player (235), and second highest scorer (111).

The uncertainty of the global pandemic, the commitment required to compete at an Olympics, plus motherhood brought her to the tough decision.

The FIH Pro League encounter against Argentina in Perth on March 7, 2020 was Kenny’s final Hockeyroos appearance, in what was the last time Australia’s national teams played due to the COVID outbreak.

Tough decision

“Making this decision to retire was a mix of everything,” says Kenny. “Emotions, motivation and uncertainty around what next year will look like with COVID and the extra commitments around travel and quarantine periods.

“My heart was still wanting to go on and play but my head just wasn’t anymore. I wanted to leave on a high and not keep dragging myself to training if I didn’t have the motivation and my energy being directed elsewhere.

“I have been with the Hockeyroos for ten years, so it has been a huge part of my life. I’m so passionate about it and I still am, but I just can’t give everything I need to it anymore.

“I have missed a lot of things from being away with the Hockeyroos, but I no longer want to miss those times and that’s when I knew that my priorities were shifting towards having more family time and another child. These things were overpowering everything else.”

Family first

The dual Olympian, who was vying to compete at her third Games and claim her first Olympic medal, admits the struggle coming to grips with Tokyo 2020 being pushed back to 2021, ultimately forced her to put family first.

“Missing the Olympics is a huge disappointment. That is probably what took me six months to make this decision,” says Kenny. “I had to get over that disappointment and get to the point where I could actually see what I have achieved.

“Going to an Olympics and winning a medal would have been the pinnacle and has been my dream the whole time.

“I really wanted to get to Tokyo but the Olympics is still a long way away and it’s not just any lead up, it’s an Olympic campaign and it’s extremely intense.

“You don’t know until you’ve been through one what it actually takes and you’ve got to be one hundred per cent in it and I couldn’t give that anymore.”

Remarkable career

Hockey Queensland CEOAlison Lyons says: “Jodie has had a remarkable career with the Hockeyroos, and fans will most certainly miss witnessing her intelligent plays and finely executed goal scoring at an international level.

“She has inspired so many girls and young women to play our game and I thank her for her contribution to hockey at the highest level.”

Hockey Queensland’s High Performance Manager Lee Bodimeade adds: “Being fortunate enough to have coached against Jodie at international level and as her state team coach, one gets to understand firsthand the extremely high level of her abilities at the elite level and the way in which her leadership keeps a team together under extreme pressure.”

At a state-level, Jodie has represented the Queensland Scorchers, and the new Brisbane Blaze, for 10 seasons winning four National titles.

She has been named Hockey Queensland’s Female Player of the Year five times and will continue to be a contributor on and off the field to hockey in Queensland.

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