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Pre-season Hockey Camp and Crista Cullen

 Crista Cullen Stamford High School teamed up with Dukes Sports Travel, a Peterborough based events Management Company to conduct their annual pre-season hockey camp over the Bank Holiday weekend. With five mini buses travelling in convoy down to Ardingly College in Sussex, the excitement and apprehension of the forthcoming weekend was beginning to build. The jam-packed itinerary was presented to the High School girls (ranging from years 9-13) however one of the days’ activities was withheld; this was to hold the suspense for Dukes Sports surprise superstar guest.

When it was announced that Crista Cullen, a key player in the Team GB Hockey team and recent bronze medallist, would be spending a day coaching a huge buzz of excitement was felt throughout the group. As every high-quality pre-season camp intends to provide the players with the experience of an elite athletes’ pre-season preparations, it was clear the weekend was to be a success. With Crista’s current status on the GB Olympic sporting scene being so high there was an additional element of elitism to the camp.

The special day began with an awe inspiring presentation along with a question and answer session in which Crista reflected on her Olympic experience, the four year campaign in the build-up to the games and the sensational feeling of the medal being put around her neck. This was followed by a photo session where each of the girls were lucky enough to have individual photographs taken with the hockey star and the all-important bronze medal. After an opportunity to socialise over lunch, Crista took the 56 hockey enthusiasts out to the pitch where she demonstrated her trademark drag flick and aerial pass, both skills which few have yet to master and which demonstrate her status as a world class athlete.

Either side of Crista’s visit, the SHS girls were put through their paces by the team of international coaches including two former Olympians and competed in a tournament against Hurstpierpoint College and Seaford College who both brought forward their best teams. Subsequent to the high-class tournament the girls were taken through a detailed video analysis of their performance by South African Olympic and International Coach, Steve Paxton.

As the 2012 hockey season begins at Stamford High School and with a new-found inspiration for the girls off the back of the London Olympics, confidence levels are at an all-time high. SHS look forward to welcoming back Crista as she visits the High school to deliver yet more high- quality coaching as well as another inspirational presentation to our budding hockey enthusiasts on how to reach Olympic success.