Defroand delights Havering youngsters by dropping in to help weekly training session
PUBLISHED: 11:00 22 September 2017
Youngsters at Havering Hockey Club had a special visit at their weekly training session at Campion School from England international Emily Defroand.
Former Coopers pupil Defroand played for the club as a youngster and returned to take part in drills and show children her bronze medal from the recent EuroHockey Championships in Holland.
The 23-year-old has recently been appointed as an East London Hockey Ambassador to help promote the sport in the area ahead of the 2018 World Cup in London and Havering’s Lee Bennett said: “It was great to show the children what they can achieve if they practice and work hard.
“Emily was at Havering long before I was, but she still calls the club home and I already know the feeling.
“Havering is a real family club and events like this and the Havering Town Show are really helping the family grow.
“During the session Emily lead some drills, sharing her experience and expertise from some world-class coaching, and she then showed the children her penalty shuffle skills.”
Defroand was only too happy to meet the youngsters and pass on some of her experience, adding: “It was brilliant! I couldn’t make it to any of the club’s Hockey Fest sessions over recent weeks as I’ve been on holiday, so I loved being able to help out at the minis training session.
“There were a mixture of ages and abilities but it was abundantly clear how both coaches and players were so enthusiastic and how much all the children love playing.
“I owe a lot to the club and I have nothing but fond memories from playing at Havering, as well as still having a strong affiliation with the club, so I would like to help out in any way I can.”
A new domestic season is set to get underway this weekend, with Havering’s men hosting Ipswich-ES in East Premier B, while the women visit Canterbury seconds in East Two South East.
And Defroand will be in Kent as well with Surbiton, who face Canterbury’s first team after winning the Premier League and play-off double last season.
She added: “I’m really excited for the return of the domestic league this weekend. We have lost a few key players from last season, however we have a handful of really talented youngsters that I have no doubt will be more than capable of stepping up to Premier League hockey.
“Canterbury are always very well organised and are quick on the counter attack and with a new Aussie coach this campaign, I expect they will be wanting to contend for the top spots again this season.”
n Havering’s Charlotte Chamberlain raised over £1,000 for the Tom Wilson Memorial Fund after running the Richmond Marathon at the weekend.
Former Coopers pupil Wilson tragically died in December 2015 after a training ground accident at Old Loughtonians, but his donated organs have helped many others since.