Youth and Junior Awards Revealed

The Hockey Writers' Club announced the 2012 winners of the Higgins Group plc Youth and Junior Awards with the presentations made at the Annual Awards Presentation Lunch on Tuesday 22nd January 2013 at the Royal Thames Yacht Club, Knightsbridge. Mr Richard Higgins, Chairman of Higgins Group plc made the presentations. The President of the world body, the FIH, was in attendance at the function.

The nominations for this year's entry gave the adjudicating committee a difficult task as the quality of the nominees was very high.



Emily Defroand receives her award from Mr Richard Higgins, Chairman of the Higgins Group plc, the sponsors of the Awards.

The Higgins Youth Award (girls 18-and-under) was won by EMILY DEFROAND, a former pupil of The Coopers' Company and Coburn School at Upminster, and now studying at the University of Birmingham.

Emily is a naturally gifted hockey player who has achieved international recognition through the National Age Group Selection (NAGS) for the fourth season running. Successes include captaining England U-18s to bronze and silver medals in two events and selection for the England U-21s at the European Championships in August where the team won bronze and Emily played in all matches.

At school Emily captained age-group teams for seven years and willingly supported other pupils with coaching and umpiring during extra-curricular activities. Emily leads by example and works extremely hard both on and off the pitch.



Luke Taylor gets his award from Mr Richard Higgins, Chairman of the Higgins Group plc.

The Higgins Youth Award (boys 18-and-under) was won by LUKE TAYLOR, a pupil of Whitgift School and a member of East Grinstead's 1st XI team since 2010.

Described as "an outstanding role model and hockey athlete" Luke has won four national school titles both indoors and out and made his debut with East Grinstead's 1st XI in 2010, since then winning two Premiership runners-up medals and playing in the Euro League.

Luke has competed in three UK School Games winning gold in all three. He was England U-18 captain in a 4-Nations event winning gold in 2012 and moved up to the U-21s later in the year and was selected for the U-21 European Championship.

Luke also coaches at East Grinstead Hockey Academy in the school holidays.



Charlotte Daly receives her Award from Mr Richard Higgins.

The Higgins Junior Award (girls 16-and-under) was won by CHARLOTTE DALY of Bradfield College and Reading Hockey Club.

Charlotte's hockey career began in 2009 at Woking HC where she played at both U-14 and U-16 levels. Also playing for Hallgrove School, Charlotte moved on to play Surrey county hockey as well as achieveing NAGS as a member of the England U-16 squad in 2012 and has also been selected to continue at that level in 2013. It is perhaps remarkable that Charlotte first achieved selection fo the England U-16 squad whilst only fourteen years of age.

Charlotte is described as "a true team player and an excellent role model for the other girls in the school teams". Another remarkable insight into her determination to succeed at hockey is that in the Lent term, when the girls normally switch to playing netball, Charlotte continues with hockey by playing in the boys' hockey team!



Conor Caplan receives his Award from Mr Richard Higgins.

The Higgins Junior Award (boys 16-and-under) was won by CONOR CAPLAN of Chigwell School and Old Loughtonians Hockey Club.

Conor is one of the main players in the teams he is selected for: at both school and club, and is regarded as a star of the future. He played in the Sainsbury's School Games in May of this year and is selected for the Old Loughtonians 1st XI squad who play in the East Conference Division of the Men's Hockey League, already getting his name on the score-sheet.

Conor has also been selected for the England U-16 squad, a year earlier than his peers.




 Higgins Youth Awards (Girls)

Hannah Martin (Ipswich School and Ipswich Hockey Club)


Higgins Youth Award (Boys)

Chris Proctor (Trent College and Beeston Hockey Club)


Higgins Junior Awards (Girls)

Katie Howie (Rushcliffe School and Beeston Hockey Club)



Sponsors Higgins Group plc deserve a vote of thanks for their regular support of these awards but also for the generous help in extending these awards to include a younger level of players who often, we always thought, were excellent candidates but were beaten by an older boy or girl who had the advantage of having been in the game for longer and thus being more experienced. The Awards were divided last year with the Youth Award at age 18-and-under and the Junior Award at age 16-and-under.

We thank Higgins Group plc very sincerely for supporting these awards.







2005     NIKKI KIDD                        ASHLEY JACKSON

2006     MADDY HINCH                   DAN BARSTOW

2007     SOPHIE BRAY                   LIAM DOIDGE

2008     ALICE SHARP                    BEN ARNOLD


2010     ALICE SHARP                    ANDY BULL and

                                                      HARRY MARTIN

2011     JO LEIGH                           JOE SHARP




2011     MARTHA BAKER                JAMES ALBERRY



For further information:

Peter Luck, telephone 020 8422 2082, email p.luck123@btinternet.com


22nd January 2013