A hockey player from Oakham School has won the U18 Hockey Writers’ Club National Youth Award. Matt, a Seventh Former at Oakham, received his award at a presentation on Wednesday evening at the Royal Thames Yacht Club in Knightsbridge.
This prestigious award, sponsored by Higgins Group, is voted for by Hockey Journalists and recognises players who have performed well over the year. It also takes into consideration their contribution to hockey through their character and involvement. Past winners include GB Olympians Ashley Jackson and Maddie Hinch.
Charles Randall, chairman of the Hockey Writers Club said, “We would like to congratulate Matthew for winning the 18-group category ahead of some very strong candidates. The judges noted that, as an established National League player, he went out of his way to inspire younger students in what is clearly a good hockey environment. Matthew is a credit to the coaching staff and to the school. Well done.”
Matt’s talents on the hockey pitch have certainly not gone unnoticed – he was one of only two schoolboys from across the country to be recently selected to join GB Hockey's U23 Elite Development Programme. This is a fantastic achievement given the programme is a well-known training ground for future Olympic Squads, and he’ll be joining his former teammate, Old Oakhamian Lucas Ward (16). Matt is also Captain of Oakham’s 1st Team, who have just been ranked 2nd in the county at the National Indoor Finals.
"This award is incredibly well deserved," says Director of Hockey, James Bateman. "Matt is an outstanding hockey player, who is trains exceptionally hard and consistently leads the team to strive to play better. For his talent, as well as his character, to be recognised on a national stage is a real accolade and one for which we are all incredibly proud."