HOCKEY: Shona to train with top English talent
NOT content with mingling with the best netball players of her age in the country, local schoolgirl Shona O’Dwyer has now been selected to train with the top English hockey talent in three weeks’ time.
O’Dwyer has been called up for the Futures Cup, the flagship tournament for up and coming hockey players in this country to show how good they really are.
The Lydiard Academy pupil, who has previously reached the national netball finals with her club side Hucclecote, won through regional trials in Clifton to make the training camp and cup competition, which kicks off in Cannock on October 31. And she can’t wait to get started.
She told the Advertiser: “I was quite surprised because the girls at the trials were all really good but I’m very excited.
“It was very competitive at the trials but now I get the chance to go and that’s something I’m really looking forward to.
“I’m just looking to improve my skill levels and to learn as much as I can and see where I can get to.
“It should be really fun and there’s a four-day tournament against the other regions as well, which will be good.”
O’Dwyer will be given the chance to learn from some of the country’s top hockey coaches in Cannock, having progressed through the Wiltshire Development Centre, the full Wiltshire Academy, the Junior Regional Performance Centre and the Junior Regional Performance competition to earn selection to the under 16 Futures Cup.
Her dad Mark is grateful to the work of all her coaches and teammates at Swindon Hockey Club for their help in her daughter’s development.
He said: “Shona has received fantastic support from the ladies senior players, particularly Vicki Stokes and Julie Lewis, as well as Chris Jones, who first plucked her from Tregoze Primary School and introduced her to Swindon Hockey.”
For Shona herself, netball and hockey both remain on the menu.
And she is loathe to choose one over the other.
“I really enjoy both sports and I don’t really know what I’d do,” she said.
“I haven’t had to pick between them yet and I don’t really want to. It would be a really hard decision.”
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