Wimbledon’s Amelie Rees is loving hockey life after unexpectedly taking a huge step forward in her promising career.
Hockey has been the 16-year-old’s main passion since the age of ten, choosing to continue that after competing in a handful of sports when she was younger.
Her target across 2022 and 2023 was to move into the British U18 programme, but she has instead found herself making an even bigger leap.
“Getting in the Great Britain Elite Development Squad, that wasn’t something I was really aiming for this year,” said Reese, who is being supported by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) through SportsAid this year.
“I was trying to get into the U18 squad and I somehow managed to step up even further from last year – I’m quite proud of myself because of it!
“I didn’t even know it was on the table. My coach called me, and because they hadn’t made selections for the U18 squad yet I thought she was trying to let me down gently, to give me a heads up that I wasn’t getting into the U18 squad.
“I was really nervous, but then she told me they’d put me forward for the GB EDP squad. It was so crazy, and then I got an email a few months ago officially confirming I’d got in. It’s not really sunk in yet!”
Rees was announced as part of RBC’s ‘Class of 2023’ at a welcome reception in London last week. She is one of 50 athletes, across 34 sporting disciplines, to have received an award contributing towards costs such as travel, accommodation and equipment.
RBC and SportsAid are celebrating 10 years of partnership in 2023 with over £1 million of support, including more than £325,000 raised by employees, provided to the charity over the course of the last decade.
Rees has already made her mark with a successful junior career in the domestic game, something that her move into the EDP will help develop even further.
However, it is now gaining more experience on the international stage that she has her sights set upon.
She added: “In the summer we have our Euros tournament for the U18s, so we’re trying to place in that with our team.
“Next year for the EDP we have the World Cup, so it’ll be about trying to get into the squad going to that – that’s the main one I’m looking at to get in.
“In the end, I really want to get into the senior squad. That’s something that I’ve always really wanted to do, but I’m just focusing on staying in the EDP now and trying to get as good as I can before I can be out there.”
Royal Bank of Canada is proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. See how at rbc.com/community-social-impact/