The Easter holidays signals the end of their season for most AKS hockey players but for Year 11 pupil Mollie M it is the start of a very exciting time in her hockey career. Mollie M is preparing to pull on an England shirt for the first time as a member of the England U16 team who take part in a three match test series over the Easter weekend against the might of Holland.
The Dutch have a very impressive club set – up with many clubs being blessed with numerous water-based astros and membership numbers in the thousands, including many juniors. Hockey is their major winter game for girls and the huge player base means they always have a very strong junior international set up with teams meeting up on a monthly basis to train and practice. Always at the forefront of European U18 and U16 tournaments the test series will be a challenge for the England side, most of whom will be experiencing their first international competition like Mollie M, but one they will no doubt relish and learn a lot from.
Mollie travels to Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre on Thursday for a final training session before heading to Houten, Holland on Friday. The first match of the three game series will be on Saturday when Mollie will step out onto an international pitch and sing the National anthem for the first time. There will obviously be some butterflies and nerves but this is when all Moillie’s hard work away from the pitch over the last year will no doubt see her rise to the challenge that playing the Dutch brings. Further matches on Sunday and Monday will provide more tests for the England side and will definitely provide a fantastic learning experience for Mollie.
Mollie is the first AKS pupil to gain international hockey selection and when local girl and Rio Olympian Kirsty Mackay visited the school recently she was inspired by talking to her about her journey from where Mollie is now to becoming an Olympian. Mollie’s first international experience sees her taking the first step along this very long road and with words of wisdom from Kirsty we hope she too will achieve her dream of playing Senior International hockey and becoming an Olympian in the future.