Olympic Selections for DUHC
(18 June 2021)
We are beyond delighted to be able to share the news that current student Fiona Crackles, alongside alums Jack Waller and Ollie Payne have been selected as part of the Olympic Squad that will compete in Tokyo this Summer for Team GB.
Fiona Crackles is a second year Sports Science Student and was Women’s 1st Team Hockey Captain for the 2020/21 season. The 21 year old joined the GB Senior Women’s squad at the beginning of this year after impressing Coach Mark Hager following her appearances in the Pro-League games towards the end of 2020 where she was awarded Player of the Match on her fourth appearance for the team against Belgium. Since joining the programme full time, she has gone on to be selected for the remaining FIH Pro League Fixtures, again being named Player of the Match against a tough USA opposition. Fiona’s dedication to her sport is extraordinary as she combines a sporting career of the highest level with a top degree from a world leading institution.
Following a decorated junior international career, Ollie Payne graduated from Durham in the summer of 2020 and joined the centralised programme to train with the senior group ahead of this years Olympic games. Whilst at Durham he helped his team get to three consecutive national BUCS finals, winning in 2018 on penalty strokes and being named the Number 1 University Hockey programme for the 2019/20 season. He was a dominant force in the England Hockey Men’s Hockey National League North Div 1 for three years and his student playing days at Durham were epitomised when his team were promoted to the Premier League making club and university history. After graduating with a degree in Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity, Ollie was called into the senior Great Britain squad in July 2020 having impressed during several training sessions with the team and at 22 is an exciting young goalkeeper to watch.
Following his graduation from Durham University with a degree in History, Jack joined the GB senior programme in 2018 and has since gone onto be a regular on the world stage for England and Great Britain after superbly adapting to the international environment. He is an exciting player with natural leadership capabilities and scored his first senior international goal against Belgium in late 2020. A true Durham University Hockey Club-man at heart, Jack still recalls winning the 2018 BUCS Championship with Durham University as one of his proudest hockey achievements.
DUHC President, Harriet Tebbs said, “We are really proud of Fiona, Jack and Ollie and how far they have come since joining DUHC, although we can’t say we are too surprised. Their talent, combined with incredible work ethic has seen them go from strength to strength and DUHC congratulate them all with immense pride, as for the first time, we witness Durham Hockey players in the GB Olympic team.”
Head Coach, Gareth Weaver- Tyler said, “It has been an honour to be part of the journey of all three of these incredible players and to hold so many special memories and success stories from a club, team and individual perspective. They have all been a pleasure to work with throughout the years and I know I speak on behalf of all involved with DUHC as I wish them the very best of luck and our utmost congratulations on their selection for the Olympic Games.”
Head of Sport Mark Brian said, “Yesterday history was made for both the hockey programme and for Team Durham. The hockey programme has continued to go from strength to strength and it is brilliant to see the hard work of the student athletes and coaches paying off at the very highest level. We are delighted for Fiona, Jack and Ollie and I know the whole of Team Durham will look forward to supporting the trio and watching them out in Tokyo.”
Team Durham are also thrilled to be able to confirm that four more alums will be attending the Olympics this summer. Eli Schenkel has been confirmed in Canada’s Fencing team whilst Matt Rossiter and Angus Groom have been included in the squads for GB Rowing as well as James Harris, who will also go to Toyko as one of the Women’s Rowing Coaches. Full story to be relased soon on the Durham University website.
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