Hellifield teenager Beth Wright represents Team GB at inline hockey World Championships (From Craven Herald)
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Hellifield teenager Beth Wright represents Team GB at inline hockey World Championships
11:00am Sunday 18th August 2013 in News
A fearless teenage girl from Hellifield has had a summer to remember – she’s been representing Team GB at the inline hockey World Championships in Los Angeles.
Beth Wright, 17, spent nearly three weeks in LA this summer, helping propel Team GB to the quarter finals and improving their world ranking to fifth.
Beth is now hoping to secure a place in the senior team for the World Championships in Toulouse, France, for next summer.
She is also starting an animal management course at Craven College this September.
But with no sponsorship or funding for her inline hockey career, it’s not easy for her to pursue her dreams.
Beth is hoping a local company or individual might sponsor her to help pay for transport and kit costs.
Her mum Eve said: “Team GB are now ranked fifth in the world, which is an amazing achievement bearing in mind all the GB athletes have to fund themselves, whereas many other countries have sponsored athletes and programmes.
“Beth is a lovely girl, always smiling and trying her best in everything she does. She works part time to help fund her many hockey commitments and helps to do household chores.”
Beth’s dreams of playing in the World Championships this year were almost scuppered when she had to have an emergency operation at the end of February to remove her appendix.
She faced a race against time to get fit again and was helped by a free gym membership from Craven Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre under the Free Access to National Sports (FANS) scheme for exceptional athletes.
Beth says she just loves the sport and has become addicted ever since trying it out more than five years ago.
“My mum found a newspaper article about training in Grassington and some scouts were there from Preston Phoenix, and they asked me if I would come to their club,” she said.
“I’d tried figure skating before and roller skating in the streets. I like it because it’s a team sport – and I’m not a very good runner so when you’re on wheels it seems easier.”
She doesn’t mind the physical nature of the sport at all and plays alongside boys and men in a number of different teams. She also plays full- contact boys’ ice hockey at Blackburn in their under-18 team.
Beth says she’s not sure what the guys make of her. “They probably find it quite funny but at the same time a bit of a pain,” she said.
“Some teams go for the girls as a weaker point and to try and get the other boys to get penalised. It doesn’t work with me though.”