THE Wales women’s hockey team are holding a fundraising ball at the Celtic Manor next month to help pay their way to this summer’s Commonwealth Games.
The team, featuring four players from Gwent, is currently ranked among the top 10 teams in Europe.
The only thing that is really holding them back is the lack of funding.
The players have to contribute towards the costs of their involvement with the team and this can soon add up to a prohibitive amount when it comes to paying for special sports science advice and training camps.
Newport-born duo Abi Welsford and Sophie Clayton, Abergavenny pair Sophie Clayton and Roseanne Thomas and teammates are hoping to raise as much money as possible towards the Glasgow 2014 and next year’s European Championships.
The team, funded by Dream it Believe It Achieve It, competed at the 2014 EuroHockey Indoor Championship II in Lithuania at the end of January.
One of the main objectives of being in this competition was to give the players experience at competing internationally, and to develop their match skills before the Commonwealths in July.
Indoor hockey, which is played by five players on each team, is very different to the type of hockey they will play in Glasgow, which is an 11-a-side discipline.
But the team did extremely well playing against Switzerland, Belgium, Lithuania, Slovakia and Russia and winning two of their matches.
In the overall competition the Wales Ladies came seventh, which means that they qualify for the EuroHockey II competition in 2016. This has been a goal of the team so that they can improve their international rankings.
Team manager Ben Eaton said after the competition: “The whole indoor programme has been a success for the Wales performance squad.
“The young indoor squad has developed, learned, gained experience of pressure situations and been exposed to new styles of play and new ways of thinking and they have overcome everything we have tested them with.
“This has been an invaluable campaign and I could not be prouder of this set of players.
“They have inspired the management team to stretch the boundaries of what can be accomplished within our constraints.”
The Celtic Manor event, dubbed the Dare To Dream Ball, is on March 8 and tickets can be purchased from firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively you can donate online at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/LadiesWelshHockeyTeam2014