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Welsh Commonwealth Games squad announced

Welsh Hockey and the Commonwealth Games Council for Wales are proud to announce the squad who will travel to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi later this year. Wales will be fielding a squad of 17 players, including 29 year-old Sarah Thomas from Aberdare who played an integral part of the Great Britain team at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. She will be joined by youngest member of the squad, Alys Brooks from Wrexham, Swansea’s Natalie Blyth, Cardiff-born Dawn Mitchell and Katrin Budd and 24 year-old Emma Griffiths from Church Village.

Welsh Hockey and the Commonwealth Games Council for Wales are proud to announce the squad who will travel to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi later this year. Wales will be fielding a squad of 17 players, including 29 year-old Sarah Thomas from Aberdare who played an integral part of the Great Britain team at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. She will be joined by youngest member of the squad, Alys Brooks from Wrexham, Swansea’s Natalie Blyth, Cardiff-born Dawn Mitchell and Katrin Budd and 24 year-old Emma Griffiths from Church Village.
Earning over 50 caps for Wales, Pontypridd’s Carys Hopkins brings a wealth of experience to the squad, as does Louise Pugh-Bevan who has been competing for Wales since 2003. Philippa Jones from Taunton, Claire Lowry from Neath, Elen Mumford from Yeovil, Pontypool’s Ella Rafferty, Maggs Rees from Northampton, Abigail Welsford from Newport, Leah Wilkinson from Bristol, Emma Batten from London and Emma Keen from Caerphilly make up the squad of 17. Players will be supported by a wealth of experience in the management team consisting of Jo Nightingale (Head Coach), Amanda Partington (Assistant Coach), Sue Sutton (Team Manager), Cara Mifflin (Performance Analyst) and Saskia Blair (Physiotherapist).
The last women’s hockey squad to play in a Commonwealth Games for Wales was back in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, but after their EuroHockey Trophy bronze-winning performance in Rome last July the current senior team safely secured their place on the plane with Team Wales.
Squad Team Manager, Sue Sutton, said: “The Welsh Hockey Union is really pleased to once more be involved with the Commonwealth Games. It is important to let junior players in Wales know that the competition is a highlight in terms of athlete performance. We have put in place a focused programme to ensure our selected athletes are fit, skilled and understand the challenges ahead playing against some of the world’s best teams and in intense heat. We are really looking forward to these challenges and I am confident we have chosen the best athletes available, which includes a great balance between the vast experience of Wales’ Olympian Sarah Thomas and the youthful Alys Brooks, alongside seasoned players such as Carys Hopkins, Abi Welsford, Dawn Mitchell and future top level hopeful in Leah Wilkinson”.
Team Wales’ Chef de Mission, Chris Jenkins, added: “Hockey is the eleventh sport to be announced and we’re delighted to welcome the sport back into the Commonwealth Games programme here in Wales. The squad is strong with a mixture of experience and enthusiasm, Team Wales are excited to see how they perform out in Delhi”.
Up to 8,000 competitors from 71 countries – including up to 200 Welsh athletes – will compete in 17 sports in the 2010 Games from October 3-14. Welsh Hockey CEO Helen Bushell comments “I am delighted that Wales will be competing in the Games, the players and management teams both current and past have worked hard to achieve qualification. Players are continuing to work hard in their preparation which will be tested when Wales play France later this month at The National Hockey Centre in Cardiff and then travel to Scotland early September for final preparations. Please come and support!”
Player profiles, squad news and much more will be featured on the Welsh Hockey website leading up to and including the Games which take place 3-14 October.
Welsh Hockey is also delighted that 4 Welsh officials will be attending the event; Annabelle (Dino) Willox and Will Drury as Umpires and Sue Gray and Colin Crayford as Technical Officials.
Source: Welsh Hockey Union

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