Kim Jong Eun, the Korea women's captain, has always loved sport. From an early age she wanted to get involved in every sport going, and her first love as a child was handball. It was an injury that forced her to turn to hockey. She explains: "I played handball at primary school and middle school, but then I got a knee injury that threatened to stop me doing all sports. My mother said I could no longer play handball, so I looked for another sport to play."

It was a choice that clearly paid off as Kim Jong Eun has been a regular fixture in the Korea team since 2007, but she says that while playing for Korea gives her enormous pride, her mother still worries about her whenever she is playing.

28-year-old Kim Jong Eun is currently studying to be a physical education teacher when she finishes her hockey career. She says that while hockey is a growing sport in Korea, it is still not played as widely as she would like. This is a situation she says she can challenge, both as an international hockey player and as a sports teacher. "I hope that through our performances in tournaments like the World Cup, we can become role models to young girls and inspire them to have hopes and dreams." 

As team captain Kim Jong Eun is already proving to be a role model and support to the younger players coming through. This is something that is very important for a team such as Korea because as Kim Jong Eun explains, when very few of the team speak English, they can feel very isolated. "Most of the other teams speak some English, so we struggle to communicate. This can also be a problem with the umpires, we sometimes do not understand what is being said."

Kim Jong Eun said that after every international event the team pledges to learn English but, like many good intentions, they become immersed in training, studying and everyday life and forget. "But we really like travelling and seeing new places," she added. "When I am a teacher, these are experiences that I can pass on to the students and give them a different perspective."

When it comes to the Rabobank Hockey World Cup, the Korea captain said that her team has definite medal ambitions. She says that she expects the Netherlands to win gold because "they are so far ahead of everyone else", but she believes the other medal positions are all up for grabs. The whole conversation has been carried out through an interpreter, but at this juncture Kim Jong Eun points to a silver coloured vase and smiles.