Girls play Hockey at national level

The summer has been a busy time for our sportswomen, with some outstanding national achievements in Hockey. 

Mollie D'Arcy Rice 

Mollie has been busy training and playing Hockey for England this summer at the School Games held at Loughborough University.

Mollie has been part of the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sport (AASE) programme, a government-funded apprenticeship scheme to directly measure athletes’ ability to plan, apply and evaluate their development in the appropriate aspects of Hockey. The AASE programme covers a range of modules, including Strength & Conditioning, Psychology, Nutrition, Media & Communication Skills, Career Development, and Lifestyle Management.

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Mollie reports on the experience below:

The School Games are intended to be a multi-sport experience for young athletes from around the UK, with a set up similar to that of the Olympics. Hosted by Loughborough University, the campus is designed to mimic an athletes village, with Welsh cyclists in the block opposite us and the Scottish gymnasts next door. On days that we didn't have matches, we'd go and watch other sports, from volleyball or fencing to swimming, and we went as a squad to support other England teams.

The matches themselves were the most professional I've played, with some of the top players and umpires in the country on the pitch. Before the games we'd walk out in teams to be introduced over the loudspeakers, shaking hands with the opposition before returning to team huddles. The matches were live streamed with a top BBC commentator and filmed for our video review sessions in the evenings. Afterwards we would have ice baths and foam rolling sessions to aid our recovery, ready for games against Scotland and Ireland.

The atmosphere of the whole event made it a once in a lifetime experience, with athletes from across a multitude of sports coming together, from rugby sevens to wheelchair basketball and table tennis, in order to celebrate elite performance. I had the unique opportunity to meet them at the opening ceremony, at their individual sports and the medal ceremony. I would recommend the event to anyone who has the opportunity, if only for the experience of the sporting atmosphere.

Olivia Freer

Olivia has been training hard throughout this season to make noticeable progress in the England Hockey Performance Pathway. Her hard work, dedication and talent saw her gain selection for the Futures Cup, which is the culmination of a year of hard work, commitment and dedication for the players selected.

The Futures Cup tournament was held at St Alban's Hockey Club and ran for four days. Olivia played for the U15 Wessex Leopards team who went on to win a bronze medal. Olivia played a pivotal role in the teams first 12-0 win over Celtic Jaguars. Olivia is now a part of the U17 Performance Centre which sees only 18 girls from the region put through their paces throughout the year.

Maddie Peel, Rebecca Todd and Rachel Fraser

Alongside Olivia will be Maddie Peel and Rebecca Todd as they continue to excel on the hockey pitches of the nation.

In other hockey news, we are delighted that Rachel Fraser has also been invited to join the AASE programme and we look forward to monitoring her progress and growth throughout the year.

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