Former Bedford Girls School student wins Great Britain hockey contract

Kate Axford has made a rapid rise through the hockey ranks

Kate Axford left Bedford Girls School in 2017, but her meteoric rise through the hockey ranks has been closely followed by the local sporting community and has now resulted in a call up for Great Britain.

Axford, who has represented Bedford Hockey Club, was scouted during her key performances for Wimbledon Hockey Club in the Vitality Women’s Premier League and asked to attend Great Britain trials soon after.

Two weeks of training with the squad followed and she now has a gleaming new full-time contract with the Great Britain hockey training squad to celebrate after impressing throughout.

Axford already has a wealth of local, national and international experience, helping guide England’s Under-21 squad to European bronze in 2017 in Valencia on the cusp of her leaving school.

She went on to complete her studies at the University of Exeter, captaining the University in her final year before resuming her GB Elite Development Programme and joining Wimbledon.

Kate helped Wimbledon finish fourth in the Women’s Premier League, and is now swapping the likes of Swansea, Beeston and Holcombe for visits to India and the USA in Pro League matches.

Further home fixtures against international sides such as China, The Netherlands, Spain and Belgium this Summer are also bound to build what is promising to be a stellar career.

Commonwealth Games and World Cup on the horizon

There is also a World Cup coming up, along with the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham plus European qualifiers, with Axford in contention for selection in them all.

Martin Mason-McLeod, Head of Hockey at Bedford Girls School has been full of praise for the former student:

“We are very proud that Kate has been selected for the GB Hockey programme. Kate is a fantastic role model on and off the pitch and it is amazing all of her hard work has paid off.

“Kate now has an opportunity to represent England and Great Britain the Pro League, the Women’s Hockey World Cup, the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics in Paris 2024.”

Many at Bedford Girls School and beyond will be keeping a keen eye on Axford’s progress with such key competitions coming up and looking on with a sense of pride.

Great Britain won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics last year with a 4-3 win against India in the bronze medal match.

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