Two Port Pirie girls will play for South Australia in the Secondary Schools Association Championships.
Lauren Manuel, who plays for St Andrews, and Amy Mark, 16, who plays for Risdon, will both play in the under 16 school girls’ team to play in Tasmania on August 11-18.
Both play in their respective clubs’ under 18 and division one teams.
Amy also plays for North East under 18 team in Adelaide on Friday nights, Metro One on either Saturday or Sunday, and fills in for the Premier League team, as well as playing in the Port Pirie Hockey Association.
In the week before this interview Amy had played five competition hockey games and attended three training sessions.
Neither girls is a stranger to playing for SA – with both having represented the State already in numerous age groups.
Amy, 16, who previously played for Hockey SA in under 12 and under 13 and teams, and SAPSASA, said she had learnt a lot from training with and playing in those teams.
“It really improves your skills,” Amy said.
“Adelaide is a lot more structured and set plays and State takes it up from that.
“We have to know what we are doing so that we don’t just get crunched.
The St Mark’s College student said players nominated for the team and then had to attend at least two of three four-hour trials at The Pines, in Adelaide.
The daughter of Judy and Colin Mark started playing hockey at the age of four or five.
“It was our brother (Ross) that started first and then Mum,” she said.
Amy plays at full back or centre back and said hockey had become her sport because it was such a social one, with the whole families out at the hockey complex for much of the weekend.
Lauren, the daughter of Kate and David, has played in Hockey SA teams as an under 15 in 2011 and in various age groups the three years before that.
That has taken her to Sydney, Darwin, Coffs Harbour and Canberra in the past four years for national championships.
Likewise she said the experience had taught her new skills and presented her with opportunities.
“The people that train us and coach us have a lot more knowledge.”
She is also looking to the future at the championships and “the competition and the fact that Australian selectors will be there”.
“Not that I am saying I will get in but it will be good to get their feedback,” Lauren said.
She has also been a member of the elite South Australian talent identification goal keeping squad for the past year.
That has seen her receive specialist goalie training however she declined the invitation to continue with that for the coming year in order to concentrate on her year 12 studies.
“I have chosen not to do it again,” Lauren said.
“We are travelling to Adelaide two or three times a week and it was getting a bit hectic.”
Laurens regularly plays for Port Adelaide in the Metro competition and fills in for its Premier League team.
Both Lauren and Amy have also been selected in the HockeySA under 18 women’s squad.