Suffolk Show Countdown: Sisters hooked on hockey after visit to Sport Village

Jasmine and Amelia Slater have been selected to play hockey for Suffolk.

Jasmine and Amelia Slater have been selected to play hockey for Suffolk. - Credit: Archant

Two teenage sisters who were hooked by hockey after trying it out at the Suffolk Show last year are now rising up through the ranks in the sport.

Jasmine and Amelia Slater have been selected to play hockey for Suffolk.

Jasmine and Amelia Slater have been selected to play hockey for Suffolk. - Credit: Archant

Amelia, 13, and Jasmine, 14, of Bromeswell, Woodbridge, are now playing at county level in their age groups after they were encouraged to take it up when they visited the Sport Village at the show two years ago.

Both have now been playing the sport for one and a half years, and have played debut matches at county level in the sport. They and their brothers, Connor, 11, and Joseph, eight, are members of Felixstowe Hockey Club and all four are doing very well at the sport.

While mum, Paula, worked, dad Matt took all four children around the show.

As they were keen on sports, he led them to the Sport Village where all the children decided to have a go at hockey, with Joseph picking up a hockey stick for the very first time.

Jasmine and Amelia Slater have been selected to play hockey for Suffolk.

Jasmine and Amelia Slater have been selected to play hockey for Suffolk. - Credit: Archant

The family had originally ruled out playing hockey as it clashed with the boys’ rugby on Sunday mornings, but after trying it out at the show, they became determined to fit it into their schedule.

The Suffolk Sport team told them that Felixstowe Hockey Club played on Saturday mornings and encouraged them to go along. Saturdays have subsequently become full of hockey training sessions and matches with all four children representing Felixstowe at different ages from the Ladies 1st team to the Under 10s.

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Like Amelia, older sister Jasmine is also now part of the Suffolk squad for her age group.

The children cannot speak highly enough of their sporting experience at the Suffolk Show.

Jasmine and Amelia Slater have been selected to play hockey for Suffolk.

Jasmine and Amelia Slater have been selected to play hockey for Suffolk. - Credit: Archant

Amelia said: “There are a lot of activities to get involved with, all with fun and enthusiastic leaders. It is not hard to try, nor to understand and you get lots of guidance and help. There are things to watch too, with enough activities to take up the whole two days – which keeps my brothers very busy. I personally love to challenge my own top scores, as you have a card to collect your scores and receive stamps then you can win a prize. I also really like the orienteering as you get the chance to learn new skills like map reading and using a compass.”

The boys also enjoyed the Sport Village.

Connor said: “It is lots of fun – my favourite thing to try was mountain climbing, closely followed by the rugby and the archery.”

The family spend about four hours each day in the Suffolk Sport Village every year, trying out as many sports as they can.

“The Suffolk Sports Village is great for two main reasons,” said Matt. “Firstly, it brings diversity and variety to the show experience as the kids love meeting friends there and spending a few fun hours doing the various activities before or after enjoying the rest of the show. Secondly, it gives them an opportunity to try a multiple of different sports in the village that are possibly not readily available to them in their everyday lives. The fact they are all side-by-side together means it is also very easy for parents to be involved and keep an eye on them. It is a fabulous concept.”

Felixstowe was recently named both England Hockey Club of the Year 2014 and also Suffolk Sport Club of the Year in 2014.

Tony Bush, business development manager at Suffolk Sport, who runs the Sport Village, said: “Everyone at Suffolk Sport is delighted for Amelia and we look forward to her continued success. The Sports Village at the Suffolk Show provides a wide-range of opportunities for all the family to take part in no matter what your age or ability. This year we are focussing on providing activities, support and advice for people looking to become more active whether you are at school, work or in retirement and as always there will be lots of fun and excitement to be had.”

Business development manager for Suffolk Sport Tony Bush, who organises the Sport Village, said: “Everyone at Suffolk Sport is delighted for Amelia and Jasmine and we look forward to their continued success.”

The Suffolk Show takes place on May 27 and 28. For the latest news and to buy discounted tickets, visit www.suffolkshow.co.uk.

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