Gorton’s talent on show

Ruby Gorton (Clickinfocus)

Peter Howe

Fifteen-year-old Ruby Gorton claims she was indoctrinated and had no choice but to play hockey because her parents were both hockey players and more recently coaches

It meant she spent endless hours around hockey clubs.

“I think I have karma on my side now with my parents spending their time taking me to club, regional and state training,” she laughed.

“I tried swimming and dancing but really, they had no chance of succeeding, I was ultimately passionate about playing hockey.

“I was four years old when I first picked up a stick. Dad was coaching so I either sat in the car bored or I picked up a hockey stick and played around.”

Gorton played her first competitive game when she was eight where there was just one other girl in the team.

“It made me very competitive because the boys wouldn’t pass to us, so we had to outperform them to get a starting position.”

Gorton’s skills blossomed in 2019 when she was selected in the School Sport Victoria under-12 team and the regional team, the Western Wildcats under-13s.

There were nearly 100 players trying out for the state team.

Gorton has now been selected in those teams every year including the 2024 where the teams were recently announced.

“This year I have been selected in both the under016 outdoor and indoor teams, and with changes in selection criteria I have made the under-15 outdoor team to play at the Australian Games at the Gold Coast in June.”

Gorton believes it was her close stick control and determination that lead to her selection in those teams.

“I play as an attacking midfielder,” she said. “I love scoring goals, over 100 to date. My level of fitness is also critical to my role.

“I have a personal best of seven minutes 30 seconds for 2km and a 2.35 for 800 metres and was recently named the ICCES [Independent Country Co-Educational Schools] under-16 champion at Lakeside Stadium.”

Gorton has been selected in Footscray’s women’s premier league team since she was 13, playing against women who are more than double her age, many of whom have Olympic representation.

Gorton also plays indoor hockey.

“Many state level players also play indoor,” she said. “It is a different game, faster and has a higher level of involvement on a smaller field.

“It’s very different, I probably prefer outdoor if I had to make a choice. I prefer the patterns of running in the outdoor game.”

Gorton is a naturally gifted leader. From her early years she has been in team leadership roles, including captain and vice-captain capacity in state, representative and club teams.

She said she enjoys being a role model.

“I want to be an inclusive leader and love being able to bring players together for a common goal.”

Gorton spends much of her week involved in hockey. She umpires on Saturdays, attends an elite support program while working on her strength and conditioning three times a week.

There’s also training for state teams, training for juniors and seniors at Footscray.

Living in Eynesbury and going to school in Bacchus Marsh, it means a lot of time in the car.

“I often eat, sleep and complete my homework [in the car]”

Gorton puts her success down to a couple of things, one, the work she does away from structured hockey training by focusing on her fitness and the second is the coaching she receives from her Hockey Victoria High Performance coaches, Mitch Hayden and Milagros Arrotea.

Gorton has her sights clearly set on the 2032 Olympics.

“I do have some options though, I was born in England and I can also represent Scotland,” she mused.

“I would love to play in a professional hockey league when I finish school. There are leagues in the Netherlands and India now, who knows in the future.”

Gorton is the June Don Deeble award nominee.

The Don Deeble Sports Star Award is sponsored by the Yarraville Club Cricket Club, Strathmore Community Bank, the Deer Park Club, Ascot Vale Sports and Trophies and Star Weekly.

If you would like to nominate a monthly winner or attend a dinner, contact  swrsportsclub@gmail.com or  0408 556 631.