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Wales lacrosse players reflect on Home InternationalsMay 13th, 2016
Hard work and dedication paid off for passionate lacrosse players when they seized the opportunity to represent their country at an international level.
Six pupils from Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls played a crucial role in the recent Home Internationals at Surrey Sports Park, helping the U19 Welsh A and B teams beat both U19 Scottish sides.
In total, 11 girls were selected for the Welsh squad this year.
The experience has cemented HMSG girl Jenna’s love of the sport.
The 13-year-old from Abergavenny said: “Playing in Home Internationals was as terrifying as it was exciting. It was a new experience for me and was quite intimidating at first but I felt really supported by my team and the coaches. I came out with lots of new friends and of course my first cap.
“I love the adrenaline rush lacrosse gives me and the sense of achievement I get when I save a goal.
“I wanted to play for Wales because when my dad was younger he played American football for Wales. He told me how special it was and about the sense of pride you get when you walk on the pitch and sing the anthem.
“I was really excited when I got selected and, honestly, a little bit surprised because I am still a very young player on the squad and I haven’t been playing for very long.
“HMSG has supported me in lacrosse, not only with my training and on the pitch, but with my time management and the stress of exams as well as games and training. We have some amazing coaches who have helped me to achieve my full potential.”
Laura, 17, was selected for the Home Internationals last year and narrowly missed selection for the World Cup. This year she was determined to shine on the field.
“I really focused on improving my stick skills and knowledge of the game and in the end it worked out,” she said.
“It was an amazing weekend, both on and off the pitch. We had a really tough first game against England, which we lost, but on the second day we managed to beat Scotland 21-5. We got to know each other as a team so well. I definitely realised how I can improve over the ‘off’ season!
“I love the amazing team aspect of the sport. Playing as part of a team is one of the best feelings, especially when we win. I love that it is something which enables me to push myself, and also provide a balance to my busy academic life.”
Laura has played for HMSG’s 1st lacrosse team for three years.
She added: “It’s such an amazing opportunity and also an honour to be able to represent my country. I’m able not only to improve my playing ability but also make friends with girls from all over the country who have the same goals as me.”
For 14-year-old Sofia, being part of the competition was “unforgettable”.
She said: “I love the unpredictability of the game. Playing lacrosse at HMSG has provided me with experiences that even a world class squad couldn’t provide by having a team filled with my closest friends. It gives me memories I’ll always treasure.
“When I found out I was playing in the Home Internationals I was overwhelmed and excited as I knew that new opportunities were about to open up for me. I was also very proud of myself as my training and hard work had paid off.”
Head of Year 10 and lacrosse coach at the School, Lou Scott, was incredibly proud of the girls’ achievement.
She added: “HMSG has a strong tradition of producing international lacrosse players and I am delighted that so many promising young people have already begun this journey.
“The six players that represented Wales at this year’s Home Internationals are incredibly passionate about the game and have shown great dedication to their training whilst also maintaining a balance with their academic studies.
“We are also very fortunate to benefit from the experience of U18 Wales coaches Gemma Morgan, an HMSG parent, and Emanuella Kefalas, an ex-pupil, who have both run coaching clinics for us this year.
“The Welsh squad is still in the first stages of the four year cycle ahead of the 2019 U19 World Championships and I hope that more of our girls will be selected for the programme as it gains momentum and that some will go on to feature in this event.”