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Hockey; Olympic champions join schoolchildren for 100-day countdown

PUBLISHED: 08:52 12 April 2018 | UPDATED: 08:52 12 April 2018

Great Britain hockey players Georgie Twigg (left) and Shona McCallin celebrate after winning Olympic gold in Rio (pic Owen Humphreys/PA)

Great Britain hockey players Georgie Twigg (left) and Shona McCallin celebrate after winning Olympic gold in Rio (pic Owen Humphreys/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Olympic gold medalists Shona McCallin, Georgie Twigg and Nicola White will join 100 local schoolchildren at Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre today to celebrate the 100-day countdown until the start of the Vitality Hockey Women's World Cup 2018.

The trio helped Great Britain win gold at the Rio 2016 Games, with McCallin and White hoping to earn selection for England for the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup this summer which starts on July 21, having only missed out on selection for the Commonwealth Games through injury.

Since London hosted the 2012 Olympic Games, a pattern of growth in the number of people watching and playing hockey has emerged and with the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup being held on home soil in 2018, England Hockey fully anticipates that this tournament will have the same impact.

Thousands of children and their families are expected to watch the event and engaging this audience ahead of the event is a key objective for the national governing body.

The Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup trophy, which England hope to lift after the final on August 5, will be on display today, giving the schoolchildren a chance to get up close and personal with the most sought-after silverware in Women’s International Hockey.

McCallin said: “Competing in tournaments is always such an honour, but to play in front of our English fans at home, in a World Cup will be really special.

“As a team we aim to inspire as many people as possible to play hockey, so to have the opportunity to coach and speak to 100 schoolchildren 100 days out from the World Cup is brilliant.”

To engage the local East London community, England Hockey launched a project designed to inspire more people to pick up a stick and watch the action at Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre.

The projects’ school programme has now reached over 130 local schools across the London boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Newham, Waltham Forest and Redbridge and a further eight schools in Barking & Dagenham.

From March to October 2017 in London alone, England Hockey delivered 135 hourly coached sessions in 38 schools, engaging 1,140 children.

The Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup takes place from July 21 to August 5 and will see England face off against India, United States of America and Ireland in Pool B.

This is the biggest women’s hockey event in the world as a total of 16 world-class teams will be welcomed to the Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre on Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the home of the sport.

For more information, where to buy tickets and how to follow the World Cup action visit englandhockey.co.uk.

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