Stonyhurst pair on the up and up

Stonyhurst netball player Olivia Laking
Stonyhurst netball player Olivia Laking
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Two rising stars from Stonyhurst College are making their mark on the region’s sporting scene.

Stonyhurst netball player Olivia Laking from Preston has been selected to play for the North West regional netball academy.

Meg Murphy

Meg Murphy

And Year Nine pupil Meg Murphy has been chosen to play for Manchester in one of their two seven-a-side hockey squads.

It represents a feather in the cap for the Ribble Valley school.

In addition to her academy call-up, 17-year-old Laking will also be training with Netball Superleague team Manchester Thunder.

Laking is the only player in the regional academy to have been selected from a school team, rather than from a club or county squad.

This is highly unusual and makes her selection even more of an achievement.

Stonyhurst’s head of girls’ games Emma Kay said: “Olivia has been playing netball at Stonyhurst for seven years and has made huge progress in the sport.

“Her success is thoroughly well deserved – the fact that she is 6ft 3ins also helps!”

Murphy, meanwhile, already plays hockey for Lancashire and trains with England coaches.

She was recently selected after impressing the coaches at the Regional Performance Centre in Manchester and at competition days held at Weetwood in Leeds.

Playing for this prestigious Manchester squad, which competes in fixtures across the north of England, is the next step up for Murphy, who hopes to play for England.

Her hockey teacher at Stonyhurst, Dani Hornby, said: “Meg is an outstanding hockey player who shows tremendous potential.

“We’re very excited about her future in the sport.”