After Britain’s golden success at Rio 2016 catapulted the sport of hockey into the national consciousness, one aspiring young star has aspirations of following in her heroes’ footsteps.
Goalkeeper Amy Cairns is already well on the way to her dream of representing England with the upcoming Future Cup Trials and subsequent selection for the England U18 squad at the forefront of her mind,
The 17-year-old, who plays for Buckingham Hockey Club and lives in Adstone, has enjoyed great success in her relatively short career, including winning selection for the England U16 Assessment Squad in 2014-15 and playing in the Investec Cup Final at the Olympic Stadium back in May.
She’s played for numerous clubs, such as Rugby and East Warwickshire, Leamington, Banbury and Buckingham, with her national league debut coming earlier this year.
Now, Amy has her eyes firmly fixed on the ultimate honour: representing her country.
“Hockey has been an integral part of my life for the last four years, at first being a hobby, and then developing to a real competitive passion,” says the Magdalen College School student, who is hoping to study chemistry at university.
“The feeling of being part of a committed team, all working together is irreplaceable. We all have the same aim, despite being different ages and from different backgrounds.
“I always feel the pre-match talk is exhilarating, seeing all your friends and knowing they want to win as much as you.
“Playing at the highest level is of course daunting, and the cup final was certainly a nerve-wracking encounter. The reminder I gave myself was that playing at that level is in effect a reward for training everyday and giving up so much of my time. There was nothing quite like that match, it gave me a real taste of elite sport.”
“My real aim is to get selected from the U21 England squad and progress to the senior team during or after university. I wish to continue training at the highest level, whilst not dropping my focus on academics.”