Bridie has England Hockey Trials

Year 8 pupil, Bridie M, has been selected to attend the England Hockey Performance Centre trials. Here are her thoughts of the very first session.

I was very pleased to be nominated by Lincolnshire County Hockey to attend the England Hockey Performance Centre (PC) trials to be assessed for the Under 15 2018/19 PC due to start in September.  If I am lucky enough to make it, I will be expected to attend the training sessions and matches in Bury St Edmunds all next season, playing with other girls from the East region and being trained by England Hockey coaches. There are 17 of these centres in the country and these players will be used to train for the 2020 Under 16’s England Team  - it’s a bit like the X Factor, you go forward into a higher level until you are eliminated or make it to the final team.

So, picture the scene, about 60 girls all wearing a vest with a number on, arriving feeling excited, nervous and raring to go.  We were in Chingford, Essex and playing on amazing water based pitches.  There was one more girl from Lincolnshire so we used each other for confidence.  We signed in and were straight into the first 2 hour training sessions.  These focused on skills and fitness and were fairly challenging.  We were pushed hard and the weather was very hot.  There was lots of running, jumping and heavy breathing!

We broke for food and a talk on the level of commitment should we get through - loads of taxi driving for mum, doing homework in the car and late nights of training but a fantastic opportunity to receive great training and start on the path where potentially some of us will play for England.  You could feel the excitement in the room.

We were then back into 2 hours of match-play.  There were 8 teams and I was chosen to Captain mine.  There was no time to be nervous as we quickly had to decide who was playing where and what the game plan would be.  The mini tournament started and we were launched into some seriously fast play.  It was great fun and the coaches watched us with clipboards looking for our skills, teamwork and leadership.  Everyone gave it their best shot and because we were in teams, we all supported each other within our group.

At 6pm, we finished, red in the face, feet burning and really hungry!  I left with a big smile on my face from a positive day, with my bare feet cooling off near the window.  Whether I get through or not, I did my best, had a great day and will still have another chance if I don’t make it this year, as it is the Under 15’s.  And…. we got to stop for food on the way home. 

It has been a heavy week with all my exams and these trials and I am so looking forward to my week in Ullswater with the rest of Year 8.

We wish Bridie lots of success in her future hockey career and will be following with interest.