[img_assist|nid=3230|title=GB Hockey Athlete of the year|desc=Laura Bartlett – Great Britain Hockey/Investec|link=node|align=right|width=200|height=268]Great Britain Hockey has announced Laura Bartlett as its 2011 BOA Athlete of the Year.
The award is presented to the British athlete deemed to have been the top performing athlete of year and is selected by Great Britain Hockey on behalf of the British Olympic Association. Bartlett has been recognised for her outstanding performances for Scotland over the past 12 months and for demonstrating the Olympic values of friendship, excellence and respect.
The 23-year-old played a significant role as Scotland won the bronze medal at the FIH Champions Challenge I in June before going on to win gold at the EuroHockey Nations Championships II in August, sealing promotion to the top tier for 2013. Her performances have been all the more remarkable given her recovery from a serious knee injury sustained in a match against Germany in May 2010.
At the Champions Challenge I in Dublin, the Glasgow-born midfielder kept her composure to score the deciding sudden death penalty against Spain to win Scotland the bronze medal and was subsequently named Player of the Tournament.
Bartlett’s summer of success also saw her feature as Scotland lifted the Celtic Cup and won a three match series against South Africa in July.
Laura Bartlett said: “It is a great honour to receive such an award and I would like to thank everyone who has helped me along the way. It has been a great year to be part of such a successful Scotland squad. It’s been tough recovering from my injury and I would like to thank all of the physio support that I received in Scotland and England. I feel I’ve come back stronger and I’m looking forward to the challenges over the next year.
Danny Kerry, Great Britain head coach, said: “Laura’s continued growth stems from her attitude toward all the challenges that elite performance provides. Injury setbacks, training volume and feedback are all taken in a manner that means business. For this reason Laura continues to grow her game and will push hard her case toward a competitive GB selection for London 2012.”
Bartlett grew up in Glasgow, playing for her school, Glasgow Academy, from the age of nine. A former player for Milne Craig Western in Scotland’s top flight, she now plays her club hockey for Reading in England’s Investec Women’s Premier Division.
Having represented Scotland at every age group, Bartlett made her senior international debut in the summer of 2007 before making her first appearance for Great Britain in November of the same year. She was a member of the Great Britain youth team that competed at the 2007 and 2009 Australian Youth Olympic Festivals, winning the gold medal on both occasions. In 2008, Bartlett was named as travelling reserve for Great Britain at the Beijing Olympic Games. Following an injury sustained by Jennie Bimson in a pool phase match against New Zealand, Bartlett replaced the Leicester defender to make her Olympic debut in the 2-1 win over Japan, going on to help Great Britain secure sixth place. Since then, she has gone on to win 22 caps for Great Britain and 57 for Scotland.
The previous winners of the award are Crista Cullen (2006), Kate Walsh (2007), Alistair McGregor (2008), Barry Middleton (2009) and Helen Richardson (2010).
Date of birth: 22 June 1988
Place of birth: Glasgow, Scotland
Shirt number: 14
Caps (goals): Great Britain 22 (2); Scotland 57 (*)
Current club: Reading
Former clubs: Milne Craig Western
School: Glasgow Academy
Senior international debut: Summer 2007 v Ireland
No. of major international medals: 1 EuroHockey Nations Championship II gold, 1 Champions Challenge I bronze
No. of major international tournaments: 1 Olympic Games, 1 World Cup Qualifier, 2 European Championships, 1 Champions Challenges
Major domestic titles and medals: SUBWAY Eat Fresh Women’s National League Division 1, Women’s England Hockey League Premier Division
*goals statistics not available