Shona McCallin

20 year old Shona McCallin is a hockey player from Long Benington.

Most memorable achievement:

Achieving promotion to Premier hockey division in Holland (Hoofdklasse) was a massive achievement after working and training so hard for the whole year. The YouTube video had over 3,500 hits.


October Blog:

The last three months have been really busy for me. July and August were filled with training days, matches and competitions for England U21. September has been filled with the domestic competition in Holland.

In July and August, I represented England U21 in test match series vs France, Germany, Belgium and Holland. I featured in all 10 games and scored 6 goals in the process from midfield.

August was an important month for England U21s. We had our European Championships at the end of the month which was held in Den Bosch, Holland. I was selected to represent England U21 at these Championships. During the group stage, we beat France 5-0, Belgium 1-0 and lost to Spain 1-0. We played Holland in the semi final and lost 4-1. I scored the only goal for England in this game. We then played Germany in the 3rd/4th playoff game. We won on Golden Goal after the game finished 2-2 after full time. I scored the winning Golden Goal which was a great feeling.

The domestic season in Holland started again in September. Our first two league games were against the current Dutch champions and the current European champions, so a tough start. We lost to Den Bosch, the current Dutch champions, 3-1, where I scored the only goal, and beat the current European Championships 5-1. I started and featured in both games.

In October, Novemeber and Decemeber, I have up and coming training camps with Great Britain U21. I hope to impress at these in order to be selected in the squad of 16 which goes to Sydney in January 2013 to compete and the Youth Olympic Games Festival.

The domestic season in Holland is also continuing whereby I will play against numerous International players and many that featured at the Olympic Games.

August Blog:

The last three months has seen me return to fitness after a few months out injured, the conclusion of the Dutch domestic Hockey League that I play in and the starting up again of the England U21 programme.

My hockey club in Holland, HC MOP, finished in the top half at a respectable 6th (out of 12) position. This was our first season in the Hoofdklasse, viewed as the best league in the world, meaning we were very pleased with our performance. I am staying out in Holland again for next season so I am hoping for an equally exciting and successful second season in the Hoofdklasse.

In April I was also lucky enough to be part of a squad of 22 to play for England U21 in a 4 match test series vs. USA U21. Unfortunately we lost the series 2-1, however I was pleased with my individual performance, starting all 4 games and scoring 3 goals from midfield. At the end of the summer, England U21 have the European Championships meaning I have a very busy and intense summer ahead of me.

July and August are two very intense months for me hockeywise. I have various training days and camps with England U21 and also some matches in preparation for the European Championships. In July we will be playing test matches against Ulster (Ireland), France and Germany. In August we will be playing test matches against Belgium, Holland and an England ‘A’ squad. I hope to be selected for all and to be part of the 18 strong squad that travels to Holland at the end of August for the Europeans. To follow my progress, you can follow me on twitter @smccallin.

Over the past 6 months I have had to have a lot of physiotherapy treatment. Without the continuous support from LEAP I would not have been able to access this treatment and rehabilitation programme so I would like to take this opportunity to thank them again for their support.

March Blog:

The first 3 months of 2012 have been relatively quiet for me personally. A foot injury has prevented me from playing as much hockey as I would have liked. After a demanding 10 weeks of rehabilitation and physiotherapy I am now finally back to full fitness. It has been a very tough 10 weeks for me as any athlete will tell you being injured is one of the worst things. I am extremely grateful therefore to LEAP for the funding they provided me with, allowing me to have access and partake in an elite and professional rehabilitation programme.

January was a hockey free month for me, due to injury. My rehabilitation stepped up a level in February meaning the majority of my time was spent on a treadmill getting used to running again, building up stamina and strength in my legs and foot again. I was also lucky enough to visit Barcelona in February too for 5 days warm weather training and escape the -16 degree temperatures in Holland. It was an enjoyable 5 day training camp even though I did not participate is as much hockey as I would have liked due to my rehabilitation programme. I did, however, enjoy completing my running sessions in 16 degree sunshine rather than bitterly cold temperatures in Holland. March was a busy month as the competition in Holland started again, training for the Great Britain Super League began and it was also exam time again. During March, MOP played 5 league games, winning 1, drawing 1 and loosing 3 which leaves us 6th place in the league table with another 5 league games to go. Great Britain Super League training began which is a selection process for the Great Britain Squad. It is a tournament consisting of 4 teams, 1 from Wales, 1 from Scotland and 2 from England, which gives coaches the opportunity to view all players at one venue competition against each other.

The next 3 months will be a busy period for me with the conclusion of the Dutch domestic season and the starting up again of the international programme with England U21, including some games vs USA.