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Coopers old girl Defroand so excited to fulfil a childhood dream on SPOTY red carpet

PUBLISHED: 12:30 22 December 2017

Emily Defroand (red dress, centre) with other members of the England women's hockey team on the red carpet at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year at the Liverpool Echo Arena (pic Anthony Devlin/PA)

Emily Defroand (red dress, centre) with other members of the England women's hockey team on the red carpet at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year at the Liverpool Echo Arena (pic Anthony Devlin/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Former Coopers pupil Emily Defroand fulfilled a childhood ambition when attending the BBC’S Sports Personality of the Year at Liverpool Echo Arena on Sunday.

Hockey international Defroand, 23, got to tread the red carpet with her England team-mates and admitted it was a very special evening.

“It was an absolute privilege to attend the Sports Personality of the Year alongside my England team-mates,” said former Havering youngster Defroand.

“Having watched the show every year since I was little – my brother James can remember when I told him, aged seven, that I would be there one day! – it was utterly surreal being in the company of such inspiring and successful sportsmen and women.

“It was a fantastic evening celebrating all the achievements of not just athletes past and present but also the amazing volunteers that make sport so enjoyable for all ages, backgrounds and ethnicities.

“It was an incredible evening and a total honour to be in attendance!”

Defroand saw Sir Mo Farah win the main prize, while the England women’s cricket team were also honoured following their World Cup success earlier this year.

And Defroand, who was named in the Investec League Premier Division’s team of the season after helping Surbiton to the title last term and now has 25 caps to her name, is hoping the hockey squad can follow in their footsteps over the course of a busy 2018.

“Next year is set to be very special for the England and Great Britain Hockey Team,” added Defroand, who helped England win bronze medals at the Hockey World League semi-final in Soutth Africa and European Championships in Holland.

“We have been set a gruelling fitness programme over Christmas to prepare ourselves for what is set to be a very hectic few months ahead.

“There is a GB trip to Argentina scheduled for February, the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast in April, the home World Cup being played at Lee Valley in July and ending the year in China for the Champions Trophy in November.

“Finishing our first year of this Olympic cycle with two medals from our three tournaments has set our foundations nicely, however we must now kick on and build on this in making 2018 even more of a success!”

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