Two young ice hockey players are hoping to make their mark on the international scene in Finland when they travel on 17 August with the England women junior and senior squads to compete in a tournament.
Sophie Emmanuel from Freshbrook and Jasmine Howe from Cricklade are both 15 years old and play for the Swindon Wildcats Academy and the Topcats junior team at Link Centre and were selected for the English under 16s girls earlier in the year.
“It’s a really exciting to be travelling to Finland,” said Sophie. “It’s our first international and we hope to learn a lot from the experience.”
Sophie, who attends Lydiard Park Academy, and Jasmine, who goes to Pate’s Grammar School in Cheltenham, are hoping to get a lot of ice time during the tournament as both will have a trial for the Great Britain under 18 squad in the Autumn which will be demanding given their young age.
Family are funding the opportunity to go to Finland as the sport receives little support.
“It’s something we’ve got to do,” said dad Matt Emmanuel. “They’re showing the talent so we have to help them get as far as they can.”"
They players return on 23 August.
Jasmine and Sophie pictured at Link Centre by Richard Wintle of calyxpix.com