Lower Sixth student and d’Overbroeck’s Sports Scholar, Rowena Hearn, recently received the fabulous news that she will be representing her country on the hockey pitch this season. During an active October half-term week, Row spent three days at an England Hockey assessment camp at Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Shropshire and, as a result of her performance there, was selected for the U18 England squad.
“I was very nervous opening the England Hockey call-up email when it came through,” says Row, “but so excited then to see my name on the squad list. I’ve made good friends with many of my team mates, who live all over the country, and I’m so pleased that we’re going to be able to train and play together again this season.”
Row first played for England U16s two years ago, also captaining the team, then last year made the step up to the U18 team, still aged 16. Her potential as a performance athlete has been recognised by a SportsAid Award. A successful 2017-18 season ended on a high when, in July, Row returned home from the 10-day EuroHockey Championships in Spain with a coveted bronze medal, having defeated a strong German team in the play-offs, reversing the result when the sides met in their pool match earlier in the tournament.
Alongside her A level study at d’Overbroeck’s, the immediate future for Row includes an England Hockey Player Pathway programme of monthly residential performance training camps (starting in November at the University of Birmingham), and international fixtures against top flight opponents including the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, culminating in the Six Nations Tournament in Holland in July. Row also plays National League hockey with Oxford Hawks Ladies and for their U18s. “Being at d’Overbroeck’s makes it very handy for getting to evening training at Hawks twice a week straight from school,” she says, “although these are long days as I leave home at 7am and don’t get back until after 10pm.” Weekend matches for Hawks can involve travel as far afield as Exeter and Swansea.
“Playing for my country is such a great honour, though it can be difficult at times to juggle everything, with Club commitments as a player and junior coach, having fun with my friends – and school work, of course! I’ve had to become self-disciplined and organised to make it all work. But there’s no better feeling than lining up on the pitch at the start of a match to sing our national anthem and that provides me with all the motivation I need.”
Head of Sport at d’Overbroeck’s, Jonathan Richards, commented, “The Sport department is incredibly impressed by Row’s hockey achievements and it’s fantastic news that she’s been selected to represent the country again! However, we’re equally impressed with Row’s dedication to balancing her hockey and school work, demonstrating excellent time management skills. When training and playing for d’Overbroeck’s Row leads by example, she’s a great role model and mentor to her teammates, which is equally as important to us.”
d’Overbroeck’s introduced Sports Scholarships in the Sixth Form this year. For more information on Scholarships and how to apply, see www.doverbroecks.com/scholarships The deadline for Sports Scholarship applications for 2019 entry is 10 January 2019.