Development squad boosted by high skill levels

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MORE than 60 children selected from either their club or from secondary school first year were in attendance at Tweedbank for the first selection trial to make up the Borders Hockey Potential (BHP) squad.

Those chosen to go forward for the trials were taken from a group of more than 700 children playing hockey on a weekly basis across the region.

Borders hockey development manager Janet Jack said: “All those attending the trial should feel very proud of their achievement to have been recognised by their teacher or coach as having the necessary talent and qualities required to be the best in their age group.

“Hockey is a mixed sport up to the age of 14, as the nature of the game allows boys and girls to play at similar physical and technical abilities, and as such it was fantastic to see the teamwork and camaraderie between the players.

Brothers and sisters were playing in the same team and in opposing teams, so there was sibling rivalry and sibling support.”

Selection was not an easy task, with severe cold and flakes of snow hampering note-taking, but this did not seem to hold back the children, who showcased some fantastic hockey.

Twenty-four players were selected to be part of the BHP squad. They will receive weekly coaching and in time will go on to represent their age-group in competition.

This is the first stage in developing hockey through performance squads and judging by the talent on show there is plenty more to come.

This talent in the Borders is also reflected in the success of Kirsty Hill and Sarah Robertson representing Scotland at Under-18 level and the more recent inclusion of Lucy and Gina Ramsey, Emily Newlands and Nicola Weallheans in the Scottish Under-16 squad.

As part of their Cashback Hockey Scheme, Borders Fjordhus in conjunction with Scottish Hockey are running weekly sessions starting this Friday at the Hawick astro pitch between 7pm and 9pm, where youngsters aged 10-18 are invited along to play fun games of hockey. The sessions are completely free and led by fully-qualified Scottish hockey coaches.

Players of all abilities are more than welcome to come along.