Swapping Bullets for Balls

Lieutenant (Lt) Alison Smith, England Lacrosse player, is no stranger to shooting, the question is whether it’s bullets or balls. An Officer at 19 Regiment Royal Artillery, Ali balances life as a service woman and elite lacrosse player. This juxtaposition, last year, saw her one moment on tour with Team England in Florida, the next firing Light Guns in Afghanistan. Lt Smith describes her experience in Afghanistan as humbling, “I was lucky; I got to go out on a few patrols in Helmand Province where we were based and interact with the locals. The difference from home is staggering.”

“It’s my job to be fit so training can fit around work and the Regiment allows me time to devote to the team but I still have to balance active service and training exercises with lacrosse commitments, this often means long days.” Ali recently came off exercise on Dartmoor to drive to Manchester for a training weekend before returning to Devon for another week on the moors. Whilst the Women’s World Cup isn’t life or death there is still a lot at stake.

Ali played in 2009 when England lost out on the bronze medal to Canada. This experience drives the team toward medal success this summer, where Ali will be a vital member of the World Cup squad. Her military command and leadership experience, coupled with 2 previous World Cups means she will be a role model for younger players on the team. “I want to get stuck in, use my experience and lead by example. If we come back without a medal, we won’t be happy!” said Ali.

She has recently been the focus of a Spire FM (Salisbury) interview where they discussed Alison swapping her military exercises and operations in Afghanistan for the World Cup this week.

You can listen the interview here: INTERVIEW

Lieutenant Alison Smith serves with 19 Regiment Royal Artillery who are based in Salisbury, she has been competing for Team England in Oshawa, Canada over the past week. The team has faced some tough opposition including the US, Canada, Australia, and Wales. They reached fourth place in the last world cup, and will be looking to improve their rankings even further, as Alison explains: “We obviously as a team are aiming for a gold medal, that’s what we want. We’ll be really disappointed if we don’t get to come away with a medal from this championships. We’ve got a really strong team, the best team I’ve worked with since I’ve been involved with the England squad for the last 10 years and I’m confident we can go all the way.”