Rising hockey star Emma Allroggen believes that her year spent on the continent in Germany can be the catalyst to form a successful international career.
She is already accustomed to the long haul. Allroggen joined Rugby & East Warwickshire HC at the age of five. A decade later and she was selected on England U16’s squad after training camps at Lilleshall National Sports Centre. As a pupil at Bablake School, she also finished inside the top 30 in the national schools cross country representing West Midlands.
The Rugby-born University of Birmingham student was then selected as part of England’s 20-strong squad for the Junior Women’s World Cup in South Africa last March.
Allroggen spent a season at Berliner HC as she experienced the continental style of player and relished the opportunity.
“I went out to play in Germany and did a month of indoor hockey which was a completely new experience, but it was really good fun,” said Allroggen. “And then I played the second half of the outdoor season with Berliner HC, which was an amazing experience because it is such a different style of hockey to what we play in England.
“So, it was really cool to be able to experience that and then bring some of it back to England with me.
“I think it was kind of eye-opening because at the club there were two or three girls who played for Germany and so it was really cool to watch them compete in massive competitions.
“It made me think that I could actually do that if that is where life takes me in the next four or five years, and to see the reaction of the local hockey club was really cool as well.
“It was love at first sight for me with hockey, and I just loved going to training, and I found it so fun to be with everyone and to be with my friends and just get to play hockey every week.”
Allroggen is also among a select group of Britain’s most promising young athletes to be sponsored by Entain – owner of Ladbrokes and Coral – and their flagship grassroots sports investment programme called Pitching In.
She added: “From the last year, SportsAid was really beneficial while I was in Berlin because it helped me get back and forth for the England training camps that I came back for.
“Obviously with flights and travel, everything can become quite expensive so that was great.
“But also I’ve enjoyed meeting other athletes who are in the same position as me.
“I’ve liked just seeing what they are doing at this stage in their sporting career, getting a different perspective on things is really cool.”
Entain, owner of Ladbrokes and Coral, is proud to be championing the next generation of British sporting heroes by providing talented young athletes with financial support and personal development opportunities in partnership with SportsAid. Visit entaingroup.com