Bella Colafrancesco
Sport: Hockey
Contact Name: Bella Colafrancesco
Age: 26

At a young age, I wasn’t particularly skilful and certainly wasn’t the best at anything. I couldn’t run the fastest, couldn’t throw the farthest or jump the highest. But for whatever reason it didn’t put me off trying to be better and honestly, I just really enjoyed being involved in something! My mum, my biggest inspiration and supporter said we’ll always be proud of you as long as you try your best.

I took up hockey when I started secondary school, after a lot of convincing, and I was hooked straight away. I was actually pretty good considering my sporting track record, but fast forward a few years and it could have all ended so suddenly. Within a few years of each other, I’d managed to rupture major ligaments in both knees. I was honestly heartbroken. Throughout that time, I tried to play but there was so much impact on the joints that the injuries just kept coming back. So, the weight piled on and I was barely keeping active.

I have always worked in sport, coached with my hockey club and I was representing student sport internationally. But throughout that time, I kept feeling like such a hypocrite! I coach by the mantra that I couldn’t care less about the result as long as everyone had put their best in (thanks mum!) and learn from their mistakes. But I wasn’t even putting in the slightest bit of effort to get myself fit enough to look after my joints or to even feel better about the way I looked. I’d lost so much confidence in any kind of ability I had from when I was younger. It wasn’t until after the second operation that I’d started to take things seriously. I followed the rehab to the letter and within 6 months I could finally re-join training, even though I was still really overweight. I suppose the driver was partly down to getting married and trying to look good in the dress, but I also really wanted to try and compete properly – to the best that I could possibly be.

So I started to take exercising more seriously, eat a bit less and each week the number on the scales started dropping. So far I’ve lost 3 ½ stone and although I’ve still got a bit more work I need to put in, I’ve never felt better. Every week I get to play with the best group of girls and I look forward to playing and training every week with them. My team mean the world to me and it feels amazing to be a part of such a fantastic club, being a part something bigger than I am.

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