Pupils at Blairgowrie High School recently received a visit from Great Britain and Scotland hockey player Vikki Bunce.
Vikki talked to pupils about her playing career, explaining how she was introduced to hockey at school and the many opportunities it offers her, including taking part in tournaments and competitions, visiting different countries and meeting new people.
She encouraged pupils “not to be frightened to dream” after recounting her initial disappointment when not selected for Scotland at U16 level.
Since that time, Vikki has gone on to win 148 caps for Scotland and 14 caps for Great Britain, and is now working towards her 150th Scottish cap and selection for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Vikki also congratulated the school’s hockey teams’ on their success in the Perth and Kinross Schools League and presented medals to the senior team, who won their league, and runner up medals to the S1/2 and S3/4 teams.
PE teacher at the school, Siobhan Penman said she was “delighted at the number of pupils coming along to hockey” and is hoping that players will be inspired by Vikki.
The need for a better transition from school sport to club sport has been recognised by Scottish Hockey and a specific training opportunity will be introduced in January to address this, further developing club-school links alongside the council’s Active Schools team.
Young Ambassador for Blairgowrie High School, Hannah Reid said she had enjoyed Vikki’s presentation and that it had encouraged her to play hockey beyond school. Together with fellow Young Ambassador, Erin MacGregor, Hannah is looking to form a sports council for the school and address the role of sport at the school and in the wider community. One area of particular interest is the provision of outdoor hockey facilities.