A Blackburn nurse has been selected to play ice hockey for England.
East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust paediatric nurse Catherine Fell, 31, plays for the Blackburn Thunder Ladies’ ice hockey team.
Her talents as a wing-forward attracted the attention of the North of England squad late last year, and after shining in UK tournaments, she was invited to trial for the national team.
Ms Fell impressed the England Ice Hockey Association’s coaches during a training camp earlier this month, resulting in her selection to play at the prestigious Hocktoberfest tournament in Ontario, Canada, in two months’ time.
Sarah Caton, ward manager for the Children’s Unit at Royal Blackburn Hospital, said: “We’re all so proud of Catherine – she shows great dedication both as a nurse and in her sport, and is a great role model for the young people who use our services.”
Ms Fell said: “Being asked to represent England at an event like Hocktoberfest is a huge honour, and will give me the chance to play alongside some of the best in the world. Great Britain has never qualified in the women’s game for the Winter Olympics, so Hocktoberfest represents one of the highest levels you can reach as a female English player.
“I started playing ice hockey when I was 19, which is quite late. I had played ordinary hockey at school, and started playing ice hockey after I tried skating and found I had a talent for it.
“It fits in well with my work because we train quite late at night, so I can finish a shift at the hospital then head to the rink. It’s great for getting the frustration out after a hard day. I only found out about my selection a few days ago, so now I’m busy trying to come up with fundraising events and find potential sponsors.”
Ms Fell needs to raise the £1,500 needed to pay for kit, insurance and travel, because no funding is available for the England team.