Ely & Chesterton Rink Hockey Club players help England to win silver medals at Under-17 European Rink Hockey Championships in Italy
Two Newmarket Academy students wrote their names into the English rink hockey history books alongside their team-mates at the recent European Under-17 Championships.
Despite being the founders of the game more than 125 years ago, not since before the Second World War has an England team at any age group level won a medal on the international scene.
But earlier this month Scarlett Courtenay-Barrow and Sarah Figredo – both 16 years old – were members of the Under-17 squad that returned from the tournament in Italy with silver medals.
Kentford-based Courtenay-Barrow captained the team and was also the tournament’s second highest scorer – her haul including winning goals in the dying embers against Germany and France.
Meanwhile, Figredo, who lives in Fordham, was a prominent figure in all five of the team’s matches.
The pair were also joined in the squad by Sarah Moffett and Gemma Cannizzo, team-mates from Ely & Chesterton Rink Hockey Club, who play out of Ross Peers Sports Centre in Soham.
And although Portugal proved to be too strong in the final, running out 7-1 winners, it did little to deter from the size of the English team’s achievement.
In a letter written to the squad prior to their defeat to Portugal, England Rink Hockey’s president Kos Galtos said: “You stand undefeated in the qualifiers. You are the first England team to battle your way into a European Championship grand final in generations, breaking a barrier that has stood since before World War II.
“You haven’t just made us proud, you’ve rewritten what we thought was possible.
“You’ve not only given a jolt of hope to the roller hockey community in England but have also lit the flame of possibility for aspiring players around the world.”