SONNING’S Reading Blue Coat School’s Poppy Martin has been selected on to England Hockey’s Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) programme, as part of the new National Age Group Squad (NAGS) academy.
NAGS represent England at U16, U18 and U21 level — the U16 and U18 squads are selected at the England Hockey Futures Cup and, according to England Hockey, selection for one of these squads is “the highest honour that junior hockey players can attain”.
Martin, 16, will be part of the U18 squad, which will play at the Annual Four Nations Invitation Tournament at Easter, the UK School Games and the Biennial EuroHockey U18 Nations Championships in July.
The Year 12 pupil will attend five centralised national camps during the school holidays, when she will receive coaching and performance support including nutrition, psychology and lifestyle advice underpinned by the AASE qualifications.
In addition, she will benefit from the approximately 20 high quality technical and tactical coaching sessions, including individual technical coaching, team play, small unit play, set pieces and tournament play.