A Fylde athlete is eyeing international honours after securing a place at a top American university.
Sophia Crawshay, 19, of Myra Road, St Annes, has been been offered a four-year scholarship at the prestigious American University in Washington DC.
The former Kirkham Grammar School student, who plays for Lytham Ladies hockey team, will fly out in early August to study at the university’s business school and play for AU Eagles.
Sophia, who has represented Lancashire at hockey from u12s to u18s and had trials for England, said: “Every hockey player’s dream is to represent their country some day and of course get the opportunity to play in the Olympics.
“This isn’t the reason I’m going over, my main aim is to simply become the best player I can be and pursue my passion of sport as quite simply I love playing hockey. This opportunity allows me to play at a very high level and get a really good degree at the same time, however if it (international honours) ever happened I would of course be delighted.”
Sophia began playing hockey at the age of 10 and has represented and captained her school at every level since. She had the distinction of representing her school’s 1st XI at 14 and played for Lytham Ladies first team at the age of 13.
Sophia said the challenge of playing in the college system was one she looked forward to.
She added: “The difference between British and US universities in terms of sport is incredible. There is a real team atmosphere – they refer to it as a ‘family’. I had heard there were excellent opportunities to be had in the US College system, and I thought rather than go to an English university, I would give the US a try.
“The great thing about playing in America is that you get to train five days a week on some of the best facilities in the world, and at the end of it, you come out with a full degree, which will help me with my future career.”