HOCKEY: England player helps out at Oundle School

Sam Ward with Oundle School hockey players. from the left are Alex Asif (17), Fran Aldridge (16), Dora Nicolle (16), Sam Ward, Anna Hodgkinson (17), Hebe Hughes (17), Issy Myers (16) and Minna Coke (16).
Sam Ward with Oundle School hockey players. from the left are Alex Asif (17), Fran Aldridge (16), Dora Nicolle (16), Sam Ward, Anna Hodgkinson (17), Hebe Hughes (17), Issy Myers (16) and Minna Coke (16).
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England centre-forward Sam Ward visited Oundle School last week (September 17) to help train some of the school’s hockey players.

Dora Nicolle (16) commented: “It was absolutely amazing to have Sam Ward coach us. He took a small group of forward players and ran us through some shooting drills. The skills he was demonstrating seemed impossible.

“However it was remarkable to see how much we all learnt. A few of the skills that he brought into the drills were completely unfamiliar but after practising them time and time again we finally got the hang of it. He was very patient with us!

“It was a great experience and we will definitely be using his techniques and drills that he taught us in games.”

Georgie Pringle (13) added: “Sam was such an enthusiastic coach, and inspired and encouraged us by providing aims for the session. It was a fantastic opportunity for all of us and hopes are now high for our goalscoring.”

Over lunch, hockey scholars had a chance to talk to Sam about being a professional player and where he has most enjoyed playing.

Head of Hockey and Boys’ Sport, Gareth Terrett, said: “Sam worked with all age group forwards on goalscoring and how to get the most out of the work in the D. We were privileged to have had this experience and hope to see the results in our next matches.”

Ward is known as one of the brightest young hockey stars in England and a dynamic goalscorer. He started playing hockey at the age of four and was inspired by his parents, Ian and Sue Ward.

He first played as a youth as a member of the Banana Bunch, along with his sister, Nikki.

Ward scored two goals on his England debut against Australia at the 2014 Champions Trophy. He signed with US-based STX in 2013 as the first international hockey athlete to partner with the brand and is in contention for the Rio 2016 Olympics team.

Outside of hockey, he enjoys watching cricket and football.