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Mia set for Moore success and Isla continues to wow

Two Pangbourne College students have achieved sporting success at national level.

Year 11 pupil Mia Moore has been selected for the England under-18 hockey team while Year 10's Isla Apiafi has been chosen for the England rugby under-16 development player pathway.

Pangbourne's director of sport, Mr Sam Hewick, was understandably delighted with the news.

Rugby star Isla Apiafi in action
Rugby star Isla Apiafi in action

He said: “Being selected for the England under-18 hockey team and the England rugby under-16 development player pathway are huge achievements, and both Mia and Isla should be incredibly proud.

“Their commitment and hard work is clearly evident when participating in sport at school and it is great to see the girls go on to be selected at this level.

"The Pangbourne community is delighted with the news and we wish them the best of luck.”

Moore represented England in Spain last summer, playing a pivotal role in the Eight Nations European Hockey Tournament, and was selected for the player pathway in November following a range of assessment camps and training days in the autumn.

Moore's achievement is all the more impressive given the fact that many of the players are two years older than her and she says she'll relish the challenge as she makes the step up.

Pangbourne's hockey sensation Mia Moore
Pangbourne's hockey sensation Mia Moore

“After such a fantastic experience in Spain during the summer for the Eight Nations European Hockey Tournament, I was really happy to be selected again for England for the 2022-23 season," she said.

"Playing at under-18 level also offers me a great personal challenge and is the next step in my journey towards becoming a senior international.”

Meanwhile Apiafi's achievement comes at a time when women's and girls' rugby is growing in popularity across the country following the continued success of the England Women's team, the Red Roses.

Domestically, Apiafi plays for Berkshire and Reading RFC.

Recently, Apiafi scored two tries as Reading qualified for the next round of the National Cup after some gruelling rugby in tough conditions.

The next round is scheduled to take place later next month.

Apiafi's natural talent combined with her dedication and determination makes her a perfect fit for England's regional development player pathway and promises to stand her in good stead for the future, both on and off the pitch.

The England programme has been launched to complement existing club and school rugby and help support and sustain the rapid growth of the women’s and girls’ game.

It will focus on core skills and physical development, providing a great platform for success.

Mrs Apiafi, Isla's mother, was full of pride for her daughter's achievements and praise for Pangbourne's role in the tough tackling teen's development.

She said: “Pangbourne College has been a fantastic support for her pathway, and we have been over the moon with how director of sport, Mr Hewick, has embraced inclusion, allowing Isla the flexibility to train.”

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