Hockey star sets her sights on Olympics
TALENTED teenage hockey player Libby Sherriff has been identified as one of the county s top young Olympic hopefuls by a new pioneering sports programme. Libby, from Wyddial, has been selected alongside nine other youngsters to take part in the first Hert
TALENTED teenage hockey player Libby Sherriff has been identified as one of the county's top young Olympic hopefuls by a new pioneering sports programme.
Libby, from Wyddial, has been selected alongside nine other youngsters to take part in the first Hertfordshire Elite Athletic Support Programme.
Her mother Sasha said: "It's an incredible honour for her to be selected.
"She's worked very hard to get where she has, and this selection means a lot to her."
The programme, a joint venture between the Herts Sports Partnership, University of Hertfordshire, and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, provides each athlete with unique individual services, to help them on the road to success.
Fifteen-year-old Libby, who attends Queenswood School in Brookmans Park, has already represented England at Under 16 level, and in July starred at the EuroHockey Youth Nations Championship's in Valencia - scoring six goals in five games.
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She also plays for top hockey club Southgate and is the captain of the East of England team.
Queenswood School's director of sport Jo Wakeley said: "The first time I saw Libby play I thought she had real international potential.
"She is a great role model for the other girls and we are very lucky to have her here.
"We are talking about a great sportswoman who can go a long way."
Mrs Sherriff said: "While she was at the championships she celebrated her 15th birthday by scoring a goal for her country and it doesn't get much better than that.
"Libby was thrilled to be part of the England team and we had a great celebration for her achievements.
"We have a lot of hope for Libby and she's set a goal of making the 2012 Great Britain Olympic team.
"We all believe that she has the potential to do so - she has a lot of commitment and a lot of talent."
'Every minute is invaluable for Libby'
The six-month programme will harness Libby's sporting potential and she will benefit from nutrition consultations, physiotherapy assessments, training sessions, and a performance lifestyle advisor.
The programme was launched by top hockey player and bronze medalist at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, Lisa Wooding.
She gave them advice on how to juggle their busy training schedules, education commitments, and social life.
"Libby was over the moon at meeting Lisa, especially with her hockey background," said mum Sasha Sherriff.
"And it was a fantastic opportunity to meet one of her favourite players.
"The programme is incredible and is very professionally run.
"This is a wonderful experience for Libby, as it enables her to mix with lots of different athletes who are all under the same pressures, and to gain advice from sporting experts.
"She is very dedicated to her sport and it's nice that her commitment has been acknowledged in this way.
"She's enjoying the experience and knows that every minute is invaluable - we are all incredibly proud of her.