A student at Saint John Houghton Catholic Voluntary Academy is taking part in England youth ice hockey and GB roller hockey trials.
Joel Hopcroft competed in his first international ice hockey competition earlier this year when he represented the Midlands Conference team, which is made up of top players from local clubs, at a tournament in Holland.
He played against the best junior ice hockey teams from across England and the Midlands Conference team reached the semi-finals.
Joel, 13, began playing ice hockey at the age of four after his dad encouraged him to take up the sport.
Now he plays for a team called Sutton Sting and trains for one to two hours every night and he has no excuse not to practice as his dad has created a mini roller arena in their garage.
Joel is team captain and is also top scorer, hitting the back of the net 36 times in nine games earlier this year.
He said: “The tournament in Holland was the first time I’d played abroad so I was really proud that we reached the semi-finals. All of the conference teams played in a competition in Sheffield after we came back from Holland and after that I was invited to England U-14 trials.
“There are between 50 to 80 players invited and they narrow the number down across five trials. I’ve already been to Cardiff to take part in one trial. We did some drills, ice exercises and a spin class and we played a match at the end. The next trial will be in Sheffield. I feel quite nervous about it as there are a lot of good players.
“I also play roller hockey for the Northern Cyclones and I’ve been invited for GB trials.”
Joan McCarthy, head teacher at Saint John Houghton CVA, in Kirk Hallam, congratulated Joel on his achievement.
She said: “A massive well done to Joel for being selected for national trials, not only in ice hockey but in roller hockey too. He puts in a lot of hours training and clearly all of his hard work is paying off, we wish him the best of luck going forward and we hope that he will earn the right to represent his country in the very near future.”


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