Tom's Olympic dream

THERE are not many youngsters that can say they have been coached by an Olympian and even fewer that can say they have followed in their footsteps, but that is what 15-year-old Tom Dunnett is aiming to do.

THERE are not many youngsters that can say they have been coached by an Olympian and even fewer that can say they have followed in their footsteps, but that is what 15-year-old Tom Dunnett is aiming to do.

Dunnett recently joined a number of Ipswich Hockey Club players who have previously earned the honour of representing their country. He successfully took part in two England selection weekends and was thrilled to find that he has been included in the England boys' under-16 squad.

Dunnett is also the third player to have gained international recognition while being a member of Ipswich Hockey Club and a pupil at Ipswich School, highlighting the important role these two parties have in a young player's development.

Dunnett's teachers and coaches at Ipswich School, where he is studying for GCSEs in year 11, are delighted at the news of his England call-up.

Dunnett, who plays at centre back, has played for the county since he was 11 and the east region since he was 12.

Ipswich School's director of games, Julian Halls - a member of the British Olympic men's hockey team at the 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Games - said: “Tom has unquestionable athletic ability and is technically strong in most areas,

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meaning he has the raw materials required to go a lot further in his England career.

“The challenge for Tom is putting in the extra effort required to be an elite athlete and the challenge for Ipswich School is to guide him and provide him with the opportunity to fulfil his dreams. I am certain that both of us will meet the challenge head on.”

There is still a long way to go for Dunnett before he can reach his dream, but in 2012 he will be 21 and their certainly would be no better way to celebrate that important birthday than with a place in the Great Britain Olympic hockey team.

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