HIGGINS GROUP YOUTH AND JUNIOR AWARD WINNERS
The recipients of the Hockey Writers' Club youth and junior awards for 2018, sponsored by Higgins Group, were announced at its annual awards lunch today (Jan 16) at the Royal Thames Yacht Club in London.
The four winners were presented with their prestigious rising star awards alongside the senior men's and women's players of the year.
The judging panel sought information from coaches, clubs and schools, with the judges considering not just hockey ability but players' personal qualities and potential for future development.
Past winners of Higgins awards include Rio Olympic Games gold medalists Maddie Hinch and Sophie Bray.
Youth, Girls 18 and under – Beth Wood (Cardiff & Met HC and Christ College Brecon)
Youth, Boys 18 and under – Jordan Lake (Mid Sussex HC)
Junior, Girls 16 and under – Aimee Plumb (Canterbury & St Lawrence College)
Junior, Boys 16 and under – Ellis Robson (Cardiff & Met HC/Cheltenham & Dean Close school)
Youth, Girls 18 and under - Beth Wood
Beth plays her school hockey at Christ College Brecon in Mid-Wales, which despite being a small school with only 350 pupils has in the past four years won no fewer than 10 national school titles. Beth has been instrumental in helping the school win back-to-back U18 Girls titles and scored the decisive penalty in the shoot-out in last season's final.
Beth has also been a core member of the Wales U18 Girls team for a number of years and has helped them win medals and promotions at European championship tournaments. Her hard work and dedication recently led to her selection to the Wales Senior Women's squad and a first senior appearance in a Test match v Scotland in October.
Her passion for the game is incredibly infectious and with the captain of hockey at school, she has helped to create an amazing atmosphere in the 1s.
Coming from a passionate and committed hockey family, she has recently started to share her knowledge and experience by coaching at camps during school holidays.
She does not shout about her success or her ability, and just cracks on in an unassuming, humble manner. This is a huge part of what makes her so worthy of recognition.
Words by Chris Marriott, Christ College coach
Congratulations to Beth!