Mum’s pride for champ


Sunderland Echo - - News - By David Al­li­son­li­ Twit­ter: @davi­dal­li­son88

A Wearside mum has spo­ken of her pride af­ter her daugh­ter was part of an Eng­land team which swept to vic­tory at an in­ter­na­tional hockey tour­na­ment.

Laura Collins was in the Eng­land over-35 squad which has won the Exin Masters World Cup com­pe­ti­tion in Spain.

Eng­land were un­beaten through­out the tour­na­ment, and won a tight fi­nal 1-0 against Aus­tralia.

Sun­der­land-raised Laura, 39, who was at one point a RNLI life­guard in the city, grew up in the High Barnes area be­fore moving away to study at univer­sity.

Her mum Va­lerie Hughes, 71, was there to watch some of the team’s games.

“Laura men­tioned that it came about around four months ago,” said Va­lerie.

“I went over to watch a few of the games and it was played in the most re­mark­able spirit.

“The whole com­pe­ti­tion was quite in­for­mal and the play­ers were able to mix with their fam­i­lies.

“Eng­land worked their way through to the fi­nal and they did very well.

“The sup­port from play­ers for the other teams was also fan­tas­tic.

“There was a lovely at­mos­phere through­out.”

Laura, who plays cen­tre for­ward, took up hockey as a young­ster, play­ing for Ash­brooke in Sun­der­land.

She then went on to study at Lough­bor­ough Univer­sity and now works as a phys­io­ther­a­pist.

She is mar­ried to Chris, 40, and mum to Cooper, nine, Lexi, seven, and Jonpy, four.

“She has played hockey since she was nine,” added Va­lerie. “But she’s been mar­ried and had a break from it un­til about 18 months ago when she de­cided at the age of 38 that she wanted to start play­ing again.

“She now plays for a team in Ol­ton, in the Midlands.”

Also fol­low­ing the team’s progress was Laura’s sis­ter Sara, 49, and dad Colin, 73.

“It was a su­perb tour­na­ment and I’m very proud of Laura and the team,” added Va­lerie.

“For Laura to do all of the train­ing while work­ing and bring­ing up her chil­dren at the same time is some achieve­ment.”

Eng­land hockey player Laura Collins with mum Va­lerie.

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