Alice Sharp from the University of Birmingham Sport (UBSport) Hockey club has been bestowed the prestigious Higgins Group UK Youth Hockey Awards for the second time in her short career.
The promising hockey starlet, who first received the award in 2008 aged 16, came top of the polls as far as the judging panel was concerned for being plucked out of the Under-18 programme and into the England Under-21 squad. She was commended on her performances with the latter, helping the team win a silver medal in the European Championships last summer.
Since joining the University of Birmingham in September to study Economics, 18-year old Alice has become a regular on the UBSport women’s hockey first team for both the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) league on Wednesdays, and the National League on the weekends.
Women’s hockey Head Coach Phil Gooderham said: ‘Alice slotted straight into the England team, where she held her own playing in midfield against the other countries’ best players.’
He continued: ‘Alice has a great attitude, tremendous hand skills, eliminating players easily and rarely losing possession. She is an asset to the UBSport team.’
However, it’s not all top-flight competition for Alice as she still has a degree to complete. Speaking about her award Alice said: ‘I am surprised and very happy to win this award. Obviously I have aims which I need to work towards and it was an enormous step up to the England Under-21s, but a great challenge.’
She added: ‘I like the social side of hockey and having a good balance in my life. I just want to keep studying, keep playing, and enjoying the game.’
The Higgins Awards recognise the Outstanding boy and girl in youth hockey aged 18 or under, and were introduced by the late Derek Higgins OBE who sadly passed away in December 2004. This is the second consecutive year for an UBSport hockey club member to be presented with this award, as Sarah Haycroft (second year History) collected the honour in 2010.