A promising young hockey player has hopefully given a big boost to the Borders men’s game.
Selected at 13 – and now just turned 14 – he is the youngest member of the Scotland u16 line-up.
Borders hockey development officer Janet Jack – who coincidentally happens to be his mother – said it was a great step forward for the local game.
“It is brilliant for Borders hockey and breaking the mould in a very rugby-orientated region,” she said.
Charlie is something of a veteran of the sport, despite his tender years, and mum quipped he had been “dragged to every pitch I have coached at since he was in his pushchair!”
She added: “He just picked up a stick and played at the side of the pitch, and, if I think of all the hundreds of hours of coaching I have done, he has had plenty of time to practise!”
Charlie began playing ‘officially’ at primary school, with Claire Townsend as coach, when he was part of the Earlston Participation Centre for the Fjordhus Reivers Club u12s.
He moved in to the U14 Reivers mixed squad at Tweedbank and the U14 Reivers boys’ squad, also at Tweedbank. The U14 mixed squad plays in the East U14 League on Sunday mornings in Edinburgh.
He was also invited in to the Borders Hockey Advanced Development squad, where he trained last year, and also was involved in the Selkirk High School, School of Hockey programme, which was run for S1 and S2 pupils.
Three boys from the Fjordhus Reivers club travelled to Glasgow recently to attend a talent ID day and it was from this event that Charlie got his call-up in to the Scotland u16 Development squad. Selections have not been made for matches yet, although he has a few weekends of training with the squad over the coming months, and has three years to play in this age group.
Janet said: “I would have been delighted if any of the boys had been successful in gaining a place in a Scottish squad.
“It has been one of my major aims as the Borders hockey development officer to increase the awareness and participation rate of boys in hockey.
“I am hoping this will encourage more boys to play, not instead of other sports, but as well as other sports. I am a huge believer that children should have the opportunity to play lots of different sports.”
A post on the club’s Facebook page said: “Well done Charlie Jack, from all of us at Fjordhus Reivers, on becoming the first boy from the club to be selected in to a Scottish squad.
“You have worked hard to earn a place in the Scottish U16 boys Development squad and we are sure you will be a great ambassador for the club and an inspiration for all boys in the Borders Region who are keen to progress in the sport.”