Young hockey star chasing the ultimate Olympic dream
At just 14-years-old, Ruby Gorton is already making waves on the hockey pitch as the youngest player selected for the Footscray Women’s Premier League squad where she’s competing with players more than twice her age.
The Bacchus Marsh Grammar student is the winner of the Edstart Achievement Award in the Sport and Physical Wellbeing category, with the award grant helping Ruby chase her dream of representing Australia with the Hockeyroos.
Falling in love with hockey at first sightIt was around the age of three that Ruby had the opportunity to attend the London 2012 Olympics and see the Hockeyroos take on the world’s best. She was inspired by the atmosphere and energy of the players and knew that she wanted to be just like them one day.
Growing up surrounded by a family of players and coaches meant that Ruby was always in and around hockey clubs and it wasn't long before she was following in their steps when she first stepped onto the pitch at four years old.
Dedicated to the gameRuby travels over 80km on the roundtrip from regional Victoria to Melbourne several times a week to play for her club and receive special coaching as part of an Elite Academy program. She’s also been playing both indoor and outdoor hockey which allows her to play all year round and maximise her experience and adapt to different conditions.
During the pandemic when there were limited opportunities to play and train, she refused to let the restrictions hold her back from hockey and was more motivated than ever to work on her skills. She started training at home by practising her ball skills in the backyard and running around her neighbourhood to increase her fitness.
She’s also highly involved with the Footscray Hockey Club where she’s taken the opportunity to coach some of the younger members at junior training sessions as well as volunteering as a ball kid for their premier league division.
Hockeyroo in the makingRuby’s been chosen to represent her region at both the junior state and national state championships playing alongside other up-and-coming hockey prospects. She also led her U14s club team as captain while proving herself as a goal-scoring machine with 18 goals to her name over the past season.
Over the past year, she's been selected to play for the Victorian School Sports representative team to gain experience competing with some of the best young players in the state. Ruby was also recently accepted into the South West Sports Academy in Melbourne to hone her skills under the guidance of professional coaches and trainers.
Going for goldWinning the Edstart Achievement Award has helped improve Ruby’s confidence and courage in hockey, as well as making her feel like a role model to younger players. The $1,500 award grant is helping fund some of many costs involved as she continues her journey like travel, new equipment, and additional training sessions.
Ruby hopes to make every state representative team available for her age group as she gets older and eventually play for HC Melbourne in Australia’s premier hockey league, the Hockey One. Looking into the future, she has her sights set firmly on representing Australia at the 2026 Commonwealth Games and 2032 Olympic Games.