Team GB Hockey player Hannah Martin thanks Ipswich Hockey Club and Ipswich School ahead of competing in Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
A Suffolk-born hockey player, who was selected for the Olympic hockey team, has thanked Ipswich Hockey Club and Ipswich School for her youth training.
Hannah Martin, 26, who grew up in Ipswich, made her international debut in 2017 and plans to move to the Netherlands in September to join Hurley Hockey Club, Amsterdam.
Having played for Surbiton Hockey Club, Surrey, for the last five years, Hannah now has her sights set on an Olympic medal for the GB team.
She said: "I'm incredibly excited, its been a long time coming with the postponement of the Olympics but I am so excited to get out there and I feel incredibly lucky to be able to represent my country and hopefully put a smile on people's faces in a months time."
Hannah was four years old when she started playing hockey, and soon fell in love with the sport, something she says she owes to Ipswich School which she attended from the age of 3 to 18.
"I don't think I would've played hockey if it wasn't for them," she said.
I was lucky enough to have amazing people around me at Ipswich who supported me and wanted me to do well
"They've been a massive part of my career as a Hockey player and I couldn't be more grateful for the coaches we had at that school.
"They really put me on the right path from the word 'go' so they have definitely been an integral part of my career path."
Hannah also said her first club, Ipswich Hockey Club, was hugely influential in cementing her career in the sport.
"I always think your first club is incredibly important for your growth and development as a player, and I was lucky enough to have amazing people around me at Ipswich who supported me and wanted me to do well and would help me out in whatever way they could," she said.
"Ipswich Hockey Club is definitely an important part of my path and I am really thankful to everyone there for starting off my journey so well."
Hannah said the restrictions on sport towards the start of the coronavirus pandemic was difficult for her and her team, but that the prospect of playing sport again, with the Euros and Wimbledon sending waves of excitement around the country for the past month, has been a light at the end of the tunnel.
"Covid was such a shock to everyone and I think those first few months of uncertainty were extremely difficult for the whole world," she said.
"I think sport transends more than we think and I think it is an amazing tool to get people together as a collective and really feel the team spirit so I am feeling really fortunate to be able to play and really excited for what is ahead."
The Olympics come just three months after Hannah sustained an injury, making it harder for her to prepare for the games, but she said her team have been "amazing."
"They did absolutely everything to make sure I am feeling fit and able to get on that plane," she said.
"I feel really sharp and I feel ready to go and hopefully when we touch down at the Olympics I will be fit and ready to take on every team.
"We have prepared for every single scenario and as a squad I feel like we are in a brilliant place."
Hannah's brother, Harry Martin, who was a double Olympian by the age of 23, will be travelling to Japan alongside Hannah as an accredited reserve for the men's hockey squad.
Great Britain's women play their first game on July 25.