Trying to follow in the inspirational footsteps of Great Britain captain Hollie Pearne-Webb, our very own Poppy Beales has earned herself a once-in-a-lifetime sport scholarship.
The former Springwood High School pupil has taken her field hockey career to the next level by accepting a scholarship at Suffolk’s Framlingham College in the hope of improving and playing at a higher level.
Beales started to play at the age of eight at Pelicans Hockey Club and was soon enjoying success at the King’s Lynn club.
“I knew a few people who played and my parents thought it could be a good sport to be involved in,” she said, not knowing she was going to be talented at a game her friends were already playing.
Starting a new school can be scary for some people but Beales seems to be enjoying the opportunity as everyone is constantly hard working and has the same passion and adrenaline for hockey that she possesses.
Beales said: “It’s really good because everyone there wants to work really hard during training so it is a good playing environment and boarding is really fun as you all become so close as we basically live together.
“There’s a nice atmosphere in the house between the year groups.”
Beales would love to keep progressing with her hockey and hopes it becomes a career path for her.
She is also currently studying for her A-levels as well as playing field hockey to have something to fall back on.
The former Harleston Magpies player admitted it was still scary for her to accept the chance and to be leaving everyone behind her as she goes on her quest to find sporting glory.
But the chance to be able to do that while studying and earning qualifications was something of a miracle as she can still do what she loves and have the time to study further in her education, like her friends will be doing.
Beales isn’t just great at hockey though. She is great at any sport that’s thrown her way. It’s truly sensational to watch and I believe she will go far in the sporting world.
Beales is very passionate about golf, a sport where she’s also enjoyed many accolades, and it presents another sporting career path she could potentially pursue.
She has many memories from her hockey teams – especially when she got through to nationals in a final regional. shoot-out – and really is an athlete to watch.
We have that waiting feeling again
After six tiring months of lockdown, we were so glad to have finally been able to go back to our favourite sports and get back to our usual schedule.
Going back to badminton in September was an amazing feeling for me, having not been able to play since March.
Being able to get that competitive spirit back and wanting to win again was great.
I didn’t know if I was going to be the same or feel the same as I once had. The same goes for my sister Imogen. She had started playing rink hockey again with her team, King’s Lynn Rink Hockey, after a long period of time as a goalkeeper.
It was surreal as she could get into her own world again and train and work hard doing something she loves that she had been kept away from.
Due to that lockdown, the only practice she’d had was in the garden with tennis balls being thrown at her in the goal.
Going back to a brand new season was a big change for her but it was fun to see old team-mates once more.
Sadly, we’re all apart and not playing sport again – hopefully it’s not for as long this time.
A question of sport for everybody
When I was younger I had always thought sport was just a game.
A competitive match between two opposing sides. But in reality it can be argued that sport is not just a game but much more than that.
It’s the development of passion towards the victory, towards the win, which provides a life lesson.
As a child, I was never good at sport and would rather watch football on the TV with my dad.
However, by the time high school came around I started to really like sport and started to play badminton and enjoy PE lessons. Sport can send you into another frame of mind.
There are so many things that can be learned from what some people see as a simple game. Not everyone can be the champion. There are winners and there are losers.
When I first started playing badminton I was terrible. I lost every match that I played but with time I developed so much and started to win matches.
The same goes for being at school as well. You continue to learn and evolve from every experience. I grew in confidence when playing sports but was always shy in the classroom.
In life and sport we never know when our moment will arrive, or if it will at all.
Sport provides hope, inspiration and confidence all in one game. This can help you in other areas of your life more than you realise. So is sport just a game?