Hockey players take on the Scot
Girls from Bede Academy, in Blyth, and Emmanuel College, Gateshead, were joined by players from Trinity Academy, in Thorne, near Doncaster, to form the Emmanuel Schools Foundation (ESF) Pumas.
Each year a fresh Pumas squad goes on tour to play independent schools around the country.
This year’s team have headed to Edinburgh for two matches against Dunbar Grammar School and North Berwick High School.
Natalie Winchester, a PE teacher at Bede Academy who organised the tour, said:
“We had trials back in October with around 30 girls putting themselves forward. From those we selected the squad and we’ve since done some training sessions and played practice matches including winning against the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle.
“It was a good confidence boost for the girls. They will meet some stiff opposition in Scotland as both teams are from private schools and North Berwick has some Scottish national players. It will be a challenge but also a very good test for our girls.”
Mrs Winchester added that this year’s Pumas squad was among the best ESF had put together.
“Some of the Trinity Academy girls play club hockey and some of the girls from Bede have been involved in training with the county. At Bede our Year 10 girls are one of the strongest teams we’ve had,” she explained.
Emmanuel College student Katy Cuthbertson, 14, of Gateshead, said:
“We’ve gelled as a team so I think we will play pretty well.”
Emily Hindmarch, 14, of Blyth, said:
“When we played against RGS the team held really good formation as the ball was being passed so we need to repeat that in Scotland.”
The players and their teachers are staying in a youth hostel in Edinburgh and will also visit the city zoo, go bowling and take a city bus tour during their visit.