Hockey hotshot eyes national prize

Hannah Denison will represent  England at the Sainsbury's 2014 School Games

Hannah Denison will represent England at the Sainsbury's 2014 School Games

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It’s Games on as Hannah goes for gold with the England hockey team

Hockey hotshot Hannah Denison is aiming for global glory after being selected to represent England at this year’s Sainsbury’s 2014 School Games.

Hannah, from Garstang, is one of 1,600 youngsters competing in the major multi-sport event for elite young athletes.

The youngster, who attends Arnold KEQMS School in Lytham St Annes, will represent England in the hockey when the games kick-off tomorrow (Thursday).

And the talented young sportswoman is determined to make the most of this golden opportunity.

She said: “I am ecstatic and thrilled to be selected for the Sainsbury’s 2014 School Games.

“It is the greatest opportunity that I have been honoured with, to compete in and experience the feeling of being part of a national event.

“My main aims for the School Games are to work passionately as a positive team player, give 100% effort and commitment, put my heart and soul into it for my team and, hopefully, reach the finals and win.”

Hockey is just one of 12 sports being contested at the four-day event in Manchester, which is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust.

Hannah will get a taste of the pressure and excitement of competing at the highest level, experience an athletes’ village, take part in opening and closing ceremonies and perform in front of a crowd of thousands.

A number of British stars have all been on the same journey as Hannah and experienced competing at the Sainsbury’s School Games before going on to sporting success at a senior level.

In 2008, Team GB’s rising heptathlon star Katarina Johnson-Thompson bagged a gold medal and with it the record of 1.78m in the girls’ high jump.

Paralympic swimming gold medallist Ellie Simmonds also took gold and two silvers in the pool in 2006.

And Paralympic gold medal winning sprinter Jonnie Peacock came first in 2009’s ambulant 100m, setting a then record time of 12.85.

Alongside the competing athletes, there will be around 400 volunteers under the age of 25 to help bring the Sainsbury’s 2014 School Games to life.

Tara Hewitt, Sainsbury’s head of sponsorship, said: “I can’t wait to watch some of the country’s greatest sporting prospects compete.”