Goalkeepers score with Hockey Writers’ awards

Great Britain’s goalkeepers in the Beijing Olympics were named as the Hockey Writers’ Club players of the year for 2008 at a ceremony in London yesterday.

Ali McGregor, the 27-year-old Scotland and Loughborough Students player and Beth Storry, 30, of England and SCHC (Netherlands), received their silver rose bowls from guest of honour Lord Moynihan, the chairman of the British Olympic Association, at the lunch staged in the plush rooms of the Royal Thames Yacht Club in Knightsbridge.

The runners-up in the ballot among the HWC’s 250-or-so members were Barry Middleton and Ashley Jackson, both currently playing for Dutch Club HGC, and Wales captain Sarah Thomas and Leicester’s Crista Cullen, the player of the year in 2005 and 2006.

The winners both gave outstanding performances for Great Britain in the Beijing Games, where the men won the fifth-place play-off beating South Korea 5-2 and where the women finished the tournament in sixth place.

McGregor and Storry (pictured left) were both capped by Britain for the first time in 2007. Storry, a financial analyst, donated her winning cheque to Reading, one of her former clubs while Ali, a PE teacher at Knossington Grange School, will give his to Gordonians Hockey Club (Junior Section), one of his old clubs in his home town of Aberdeen.

Plaques and cheques were presented by Richard Higgins, chairman of the sponsoring Higgins Group to Alice Sharp, 16, a midfielder with Belper HC, and Ben Arnold, 18, of Beeston HC, winners of the Higgins Group UK Youth Awards.

The Times Sydney Friskin Memorial Goblet for Outstanding Services to Hockey was presented to Chris Pickett, the former Great Britain and England women’s manager and president of Havant HC.

Click here to visit the Hockey Writers’ Club’s own website

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