Chester hockey player Sian French says she can’t wait to test herself against some of the finest players in the world at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next month.
The former Chester Hockey Club player, from Delamere, has been selected as part of the Wales squad that will compete at the eagerly anticipated Games across the border between July 23 and August 3.
Sian, 22, a former pupil at Bishops’ Bluecoat High School, already has 36 Welsh caps to her name but says the chance to prove herself on the her biggest stage so far is one that she is intending to make the most of.
“I can’t wait for it as it’s the biggest event that I will have played at and it will be pretty much a home Games,” said Sian, who plays her club hockey in the Investec Premier League with Bowdon Hightown.
“Hopefully it will be like London 2012 and people will really get behind it. It’s great because I’ve got family and friends who will get the chance to come and see me play on such a big stage and against some of the best players in the world.”
Sian, who works in Crewe as a chartered physiotherapist within the NHS, first made her Wales debut against Scotland in 2011 and says the balancing act between her work and hockey has been a tough one.
“It is hard as I train pretty much everyday and have to fit everything around my work due to the amateur status of hockey in this country,” said Sian, who qualifies for Wales due to her mum being born in Swansea.
“I was playing competitive, high-level hockey while I was doing my A-Levels and while I was studying for a degree, and now I do it around my work, which can be tough.”
Sian admits winning a medal will be a tall order, with Wales ranked ninth out of the 10 teams competing and facing a tough group stage consisting of England, Australia, Scotland and Malaysia.
“We know that winning a medal will be tough but if we get a good start and gain some momentum then you never know,” added Sian.
“To play in the Commonwealth Games will be worth all the sacrifices and all the hard training and I just want to go out there and do my bit for the team.”