PUPILS at a Frensham school have been celebrating after finding out of their selection to county hockey teams.

Edgeborough School students Isabella Canenti, Helena Hooper, Rosie Grayson, Sophie Regan, Ruby Bailey and Rafe Wilks have all been selected for their respective hockey teams in Hampshire and Surrey.

In order to qualify, the five Year 8 girls had to first be nominated by their school and club to take part in the selection process along with the hundreds of children in all age groups taking part across the county.

The girls then went through eight assessment sessions, almost 20 hours, from September last year. The final session took place at the start of January, with all five finding out that they had been picked last week.

Both Sophie, who played for the U13s last year, and Ruby have been chosen for the U14s, while the remaining three, Isabella, Helena and Rosie have been selected for the U13 side.

Having been selected the girls now have months of further training with their respective Hampshire hockey squads, as well as matches to compete in against other southern counties.

Rafe Wilks, the other student to taste success, has been selected for the Surrey U13 county squad.  He underwent a similarly gruelling selection process, again about 20 hours in total, before finding out he had been successful.

However, to add to his achievement, the Year 6 pupil has been chosen for the side a year young and is the first time this has been achieved by a Edgeborough pupil.

With between 300-400 hopefuls starting each process for county sides, the achievements of the pupils have been championed by both staff and parents at Edgeborough.

Headmaster Dan Thornburn was thrilled with the news. “We are all so proud of the children for this fantastic achievement. Sport is a real strength at Edgeborough with pupils able to play every day of the week. Our girls’ hockey has been particularly strong in recent years with numerous trips to the National Championships. 

“Of course we encourage children of all abilities to enjoy their sport but it is great when so many girls achieve an accolade such as this.  Add to this the fact that Rafe has been selected for his county side a year early and we are confident that hockey will continue to be a real strength at Edgeborough.”   

Head of girls games Claudia Rafferty said: “We are delighted and very proud of the pupils and their county achievements in hockey. They are all hard-working and talented, and this is a great opportunity for them to all further their skills and play at a high level. We look forward to hearing of their achievements at county level.”

Kate Canenti, mother of Isabella, was thrilled with the news for all six pupils. “We are all super proud of their achievements and think it’s amazing that five girls from one prep school, over half the girls in the year group, have made it through. It is also a ringing endorsement of Edgeborough’s hockey too.”