JOCELYN Bartram has turned her greatest disappointment into motivation and now sits on the cusp of a Hockeyroo call-up.
In the middle of last year the 20-year-old keeper was in a hockey limbo land — after two years in the national under-21 squad she was dumped at the final cut ahead of the junior World Cup in Germany.
But Bartram turned her shock omission into greater determination.
She was a stand-out in Australian Hockey League as NSW’s number one keeper.
The performance caught the eye of the national selectors who immediately added Bartram to the national development squad — 10 shadow players to the Hockeyroos.
It means regular training blocks in Perth under the eyes of the national coach, as well as a weekly training regime that has her on the park around dawn most mornings of the week, in the gym after that and training again most afternoons.
Bartram said the support of those closest to her, including those back on the Border, had turned her career around.
“There were times last year when I couldn’t believe what had happened, how I had missed out,” she said.
“I had trained with the group for two years, trained with the girls and then suddenly I’m out.
“But I had great support from everyone around me and that was the key to getting through it all — club coach Katrina Powell (252-game Hockeyroo), the NSW coach (Olympic silver medallist Warren Birmingham) even some of the people from Hockey Albury Wodonga all got behind me — gave me the confidence to carry on.
“They reminded me it was how we respond to setbacks that mattered and to keep working hard.
“I probably played the best in my career at the national hockey league a few months later, at least it felt that way during the competition and I guess that was backed up by being selected in the development squad.”
Bartram is in the second week of a fortnight training block at hockey’s Australian Institute of Sport in Perth.
The former Albury Public and Albury High School student will then spend a few days training in Adelaide on the way back to her now Sydney base.
“There is a great spirit among the hockey community in Albury-Wodonga — everyone gets along, people help out.”JOCELYN BARTRAM
After that it will back to the grindstone — a mix of training, university studies and casual work to support her sporting pursuits.
She is on the pitch at the Homebush hockey centre about 6am six days a week.
Then there are gym sessions and a new study year having shifted from Macquarie University to the University of Technology.
But Bartram is under no illusion when it comes to breaking into the green and gold.
“The Australian Institute of Sport wanted to decentralise and so it sent the hockey program to Perth, where all 24 athletes including the two keepers are now based,” she said.
“I’m part of the national development squad that has 10 athletes, again including two goalies.
“If one of the two keepers in the national squad get injured then it is a decision to be made between the two of us in the development squad over that spot.
“At the moment the two girls in the Hockeyroos are fit and playing well but that doesn’t stop the Institute of Sport wanting to keep us up to the mark with the national program.
“I just need to make the most of my opportunities — train hard, use these trips to Perth or specialist camps to put myself up for selection in the best way possible.”
A little like her experience at national level it was growing pains that saw Bartram end up in the goals, focusing on hockey rather than soccer and water polo where she also excelled.
Medicos told the then teenager she needed to cut back on her running during her growth spurt — the obvious choice to continue playing hockey was in front of the net.
Bartram said she owed a great debt to the Border hockey community.
“When I was having my down times last year there was a group of people back home who phoned and offered support,” she said.
“There is a great spirit among the hockey community in Albury-Wodonga — everyone gets along, people help out.
“I love coming back, slipping back into the community and catching up with all my friends and family.”
This is Bartram’s fourth nomination for the Norske Skog Young Achiever Award.