They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and for Scottish Hockey player Allan Dick, those words definitely ring true.
The 29-year-old, who is originally from Kirkcaldy, has known nothing but a great passion for hockey since the day he came into the world, even saying he was “born with a stick in his hand.”
He grew up on the side of a hockey pitch, cheering on both his mother and father, who each played on their selected teams in the Scottish National League, now sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management.
Allan graduated to the position of goalkeeper at the age of six and has never looked back, and he is now an international star hoping to make his mark on the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year with Scotland.
Allan said: “My parents were always very encouraging to me and my brother Stephen and were constantly trying to get us involved in as many different sports as possible.
“Hockey must be in our blood though as we both kept drifting back to the game and have carried on the legacy you could say.”
Younger brother Stephen has reached the very top of the sport, starring for Great Britain in the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
But Allan has his own impressive hockey career, having gained many achievements including being selected to play for Scotland at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, followed by winning a bronze medal at the 2009 World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand.
And, although his future career was questioned in 2010 after suffering a knee injury, his two-year break from playing didn’t deter Allan from keeping one foot in the hockey locker room.
Allan added: “Any injury can be a scary time for an athlete as you don’t want to let the adrenaline for your game slip.
“I was really lucky though as I was offered the opportunity to coach for a community-based project in both Tower Hamlets and Newham, East London.
“The initiative encouraged about 30 kids aged between 11 and 15 to sign up for some intense hockey training for about 12 weeks so they could go on to compete in a competition in The Netherlands.
“Most of these kids had never picked up a hockey stick in their lives so it was great to pass the torch and teach them everything I learned from watching my parents.”
Allan is now back on the field playing for Holcombe HC in Kent and is even carrying on his own tradition, although some would say it is more superstition.
Allan continued: “I know a lot of players have some sort of routine they like to follow when preparing for a match, but I must get the most stick from my team mates for mine.
“I always lay out my equipment before each game, pad up right side first and talk to my goal before the start of each game saying, ‘If you protect me, I’ll protect you.’
“I know it’s weird but it helps me to focus and I like to think of it as my Dumbo’s feather.”
Allan has high hopes that the future of Scottish hockey is looking strong with the introduction of the new professional coaching programme, which is the first initiative of its kind in Scotland.
Funded by Aberdeen Asset Management, the partnership marks the largest ever venture in the development and growth of hockey in Scotland at all levels, from grassroots to elite.
The three full-time high performance coaches will be deployed around the country to work with selected domestic clubs, aiming to increase the quality and standard of players, leading to stronger national league competitions and ultimately increasing Scotland’s competitiveness at international level.