Fiona Crackles awarded a place in the centralised programme as GB Hockey look towards the summer Olympics
(12 January 2021)
Fiona Crackles is the second DUHC member of 2020 and the fifth since 2018 to be deservedly awarded a place in the Great Britain centralised programme as the squad look towards the Olympics in the summer.
Following some exceptional performances in recent FIH Pro- League games, of which Crackles won women of the match in the second game against Belgium on only her fourth cap for the senior side, Mark Hager, the Head Coach for the GB women’s team has asked Crackles to join the training squad on a full time basis, whilst they make preparations for the summer Olympics in Tokyo.
The second years Sports Science student has made the step up this month to join old DUHC teammate and friend Tess Howard who joined the group in 2018, as well as alums Jack Waller, Rhys Smith and more recently Ollie Payne.
Crackles said, “The step up to seniors is certainly going to be tough but I am excited for the challenge and the development as a player. Balancing my course along with being a full time athlete will be hard but hopefully rewarding.”
This comes as no surprise to DUHC or Team Durham, who are in full support of their Women’s 1s captain, as Fiona been working extremely hard both on and off the pitch to continually develop herself, both physically and mentally as she continues to grow as both a player and a person. She has done so whilst steering the W1s squad through what has been a difficult and uncertain time for all, demonstrating her true ability as a successful leader.
Head of Hockey, Gareth Weaver- Tyler said, “We are all extremely proud of what Fiona has achieved in gaining her first GB cap and most recently being awarded a full time centralised contract with GB Hockey. Fiona has always been a player that I have admired from her junior England days as well as playing against us in the National League. Her recent maturity has shone through both in her personal playing performances but also within her leadership skills. She has led the women’s performance programme through an extremely difficult period with commitment, positivity and inclusivity which is a testament to her approach and will provide her with a great platform as she enters the GB programme.”
Hockey Club President, Harriet Tebbs added, “We are incredibly proud of Fiona and her selection into the GB centralised programme and we look forward to supporting her through the next phase of her international career.”
Surrounded by a team of international coaches and expert support services, coupled with the ability to train at world class facilities, Durham continues to support and promote athlete development in order to help its players progress to the world stage. With 5 athletes making senior GB selection in the last 2 years and a handful of additional athletes in the EDP as well as the Scotland, Wales senior set ups and USA development groups, we look forward to more exciting things on the horizon for DUHC and its athletes.
We would like to wish Fiona a huge congratulations on this outstanding achievement and look forward to supporting her on this journey over the next few years.
Hockey at Durham
Durham University Hockey Club is one of the highest achieving hockey programmes in the UK and have been recently recognised as the Number 1 University Hockey programme for the 2019/20 season.
We are an England Hockey Premier League Club who cater for players of all abilities, boasting 5 men’s and 5 women’s teams who regularly play on both a Wednesday and a Saturday. Further to this, our extensive college programme gives more players the opportunity to participate in training and matches.