If you’re hoping to encourage your gang into team sports, but find your advice and guidance falling on deaf ears, then perhaps you can channel your inner Lena Tice the next time you broach the subject.

17-year-old Lena is a member of the U18 international hockey squad as well as playing on the senior women’s cricket team.

The vivacious teen, who recently helped her school, St. Gerard’s, to victory at the Leinster Schoolgirls Senior Cup competition, knows the importance of team sport and hopes with the help of Subway stores, more children and teens will get involved in it.

The much-loved food chain have recently announced a partnership with Hockey Ireland making them the brand sponsor for the All Ireland Schools Cup and, along with Lena, they are keen to promote the importance of sport in children’s lives.

Opening up about her own experience, Lena acknowledges the various ways being a team player can impact on a child’s life, saying: “It teaches you to adapt to the various personalities around you and teaches you from a young age how to develop relationships and share success and defeat with others.”

Crediting her various teams for the enduring friendships she has enjoyed thus far, Lena goes on to say: “It gives you a constant support system and without doubt some of my closest friends have been developed through playing team sports.”

Drawing on her own experience, Lena, who began playing soccer at the tender age of four, says early exposure to physical activity is paramount, asserting: “I'm a firm believer that sports should be introduced to kids as early as possible. Developing hand eye coordination skills and athletic traits from a young age is very beneficial.”

Despite its incredible participation levels, Lena laments the lack of corporate funding offered to sports like hockey and credits Subway stores for their participation, saying: “Corporate funding can provide huge opportunities for sports like hockey and can contribute greatly to the development of the sport.”

If you’re hoping to use the summer months as a platform to highlight the importance of team activities and sporting events to your children, then why not remind them that the main goal is to have fun while making new friends?

Very few teenagers will turn their back on that guarantee!