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At just 23, Anna Flanagan has already achieved some of the highest accolades in sport. Playing competitive hockey since she was four, she’s now a senior member of the Australian women’s team, won Commonwealth Games gold medals, and was named World Young Player of the Year in 2013. She’s got a lot going on off the pitch as well—an avid skater, budding sports journalist, and ambassador for Nike’s Spring Tech Pack, Anna understands the importance of staying relaxed in your down-time. We got to know a little bit more about her life outside of elite competition.

When did you get a start in hockey? 

I started hockey when I was four years old but it wasn’t until I turned 17 that I made the National Australian squad.

You must have a pretty crazy schedule, what does an average day look like for you?

An average day for me begins with a two hour hockey skills session, usually with sprint or longer conditioning for the first half hour. We then might have a meeting and lunch as a team before heading to gym to do weights or cross-fit for an hour. After this, we have ice baths for recovery. If the weather is nice I will try get down to the beach, go for a walk or skate and then have an early night to do it all again the next day.

What’s been your professional highlight so far in your career?

Winning my second Commonwealth Games gold medal last year, as well as being named Junior World athlete of the year are two of the biggest highlights thus far. Becoming an Olympian was a huge highlight but I won’t be satisfied until we can get that gold medal!

There must be a lot of pressure in being an Olympic athlete when you’re just 23. How do you handle it?

There certainly is but having competed so young in my first Olympics has given me some invaluable experience that I can use heading towards the next one in Rio. I was picked up very young in the team and am now one of the more senior players despite my age so there is some comfort in that experience.

When you’re not preparing for Rio next year, what are you doing?

Other than playing hockey I am an aspiring sports journalist. I completed all my studies, and I try to get in work experience when I can. Also, I’m really passionate about promoting female sport and hockey through my social media channels away from the field.

How do you wind down when you’re off the field? 

I love being outdoors and doing different things to get away. You can usually find me at the beach, going for a skate or catching up with friends.

How important is it to have that down time? 

It is really important to have a balance and a mental break when you are training or working hard. Being able to get away from the high pressure sporting environment and relax helps me perform and stay motivated day in and day out.

When did you first pick up a skateboard? 

I first bought a board in Holland when I was playing over there, but the cobblestones made it pretty difficult to learn anywhere. After Christmas I went on a date with a guy called Hans, he made me a skateboard and taught me how to do it properly…we have been together ever since!

What draws you to skating?

I love the feeling of freedom it gives you. It is so different from what I do every day. I still have so much to learn skating, but I love being able to test the boundaries each time I go out. I know there is danger involved, but also it is such a thrill to nail that hill that I couldn’t do before.

What set-up are you riding at the moment?

A Handbrake single kick cruiser. It is shaped like a surfboard and made from 9 ply Canadian maple — retro style made for cruising. It is also painted green and gold thanks to my now boyfriend who made me a ‘Hockeyroo’ board.

Where’s your favourite spot to skate?

I love skating along the Perth coast! It is good to learn the hills but also the scenery is so beautiful and relaxing.

Is it important to have a pursuit like that just for yourself? 

It is for me because I am such a strong believer in balance. Doing something completely different, where I can still keep learning helps to clear my head.

Do you find achieving that balance revitalises your drive when it comes to competition?

Totally! I think balance is something I am continually searching for, so to have something else other than just hockey helps me to stay motivated and focused when I really need it.

Do you have a favourite piece from the new Tech Pack collection?

I absolutely love the Tech Fleece Cape. The oversized hood is so trendy and warm, it’s unlike any other jumper I have had before. Not only do I wear it before and after training, but I also wear it out to lunch or coffee, it is so versatile.

Any styling tips for the guys who are thinking of picking up some of the range?

I am all about comfort! And the Tech Pack collection is perfect for that — look good, feel good and be happy. I would suggest mixing it up, you can wear the fleece with jeans and sneakers, or over your training uniform.

See more from Nike’s Spring Tech pack, head here.