July 2, 2012, by Harry Waddle
Students past and future to represent GB hockey
Three alumni and one future student from The University of Nottingham have been chosen to represent Great Britain’s hockey teams at London 2012.
After a career blighted by injury, Mathematics and Economics (2009) graduate Anne Panter has been selected in the women’s squad, while fellow alumni Rob Moore (Economics 2003) and Nick Catlin (History 2011) have been selected for the men.
The fourth player, Harry Martin will be starting at the University after the Olympics, having delaying the start of his Economics degree by a year in an attempt to make the squad.
After being selected, Harry said: “It’s such an honour to be a part of Team GB. Although it hasn’t completely sunk in yet, competing at a home Olympics is a once in a lifetime chance and I am very excited. I owe a lot of thanks to everyone who has supported me, especially my family, friends and sponsors.
“It has been a privilege to be part of such a strong training squad with such a dedicated coaching team. Those of us that have been fortunate enough to be selected will do everything to make the rest proud.”
Anne Panter has more reason than most to celebrate, after a car crash in 2003 threatened her hockey career. Just days after her selection had been confirmed, Anne was lucky to walk away from a second serious car accident unharmed.
She explained: “The team is almost incomparable to those I have previously played in. After Beijing we sat down as a team to discuss how we could turn our fifth place finish into a medal. Since then we have turned professional and train together regularly. Our fitness is now the best in the world, our skill levels and tactical play has improved dramatically and culturally, the atmosphere in the squad is incredible.”
Director of Sport, Dan Tilley, who has previously worked with the men’s England hockey team, was delighted that all four squad members had been selected.
He added: “It is absolutely fantastic to have three of the GB men’s squad and one of the GB Women’s squad as either alumni or students of the University. In fact three athletes out of squad of 16 is almost 20% of the squad, which is a great reflection on the University and its programme of supporting elite athletes and in particular hockey players. The fact that Harry Martin will be coming to the University next year is very exciting and shows the continued reputation we have for elite hockey.”
This reputation has been further boosted this year after hockey was chosen as one of eight sports to benefit from the Vaughan Parry Williams coaching fund, set up in the memory of the former Director of Sport.
Dan Tilley continued: “The coaching fund is essentially looking to deliver a legacy in Vaughan’s honour, delivering the ‘sport for all’ ethos he was passionate about and providing an environment in which athletes can achieve their potential.
“We feel that by providing funding for the provision of coaching, we can enhance the overall student sporting experience, improve their performance, raise aspirations, improve inclusivity and hopefully produce a new raft of talented coaches.”
To find out more about our London 2012 Olympians, visit our Proud to be Olympic web page.