Penarth student selected for Wales Commonwealth Games hockey team

TEAM PLAYER: University of Bath Chemistry student Eloise Laity has been named in the Wales hockey squad for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

TEAM PLAYER: University of Bath Chemistry student Eloise Laity has been named in the Wales hockey squad for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

First published in Sport

A PENARTH student has been named in the Wales hockey squad for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

University of Bath Chemistry student Eloise Laity said she was ‘absolutely over the moon’ to be named in the Wales hockey squad.

The first year student joins University of Bath Sport and Exercise Science graduate Emma Batten in the Wales hockey squad for the Games.

Laity’s selection comes just two weeks after she made her senior debut for Wales against Canada and just over a year after sustaining a serious knee injury.

Laity, who has played for the University of Bath ladies’ firsts in British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) competitions this year, said: “I don't think I could have been more surprised to get selected. I'm absolutely over the moon and very excited, especially as the Games are so close to home.”

Originally from Penarth, Laity has been involved in the Wales set up since she was 15 and made her Welsh debut at under-16 level in Glasgow.

She has also featured at under-18 and under-21 levels, but tore her knee ligaments at one of her first training weekends with the Welsh senior squad in February last year.

“That was devastating for me as I was having a gap year and looking to train most of the time,” she said. “It set me back and I had to concentrate on recovering, ready to start University here in October.”

But she was fit again in time for the trials for the University team and has thoroughly enjoyed playing for the team and her life at the University of Bath.

“I was a little rusty at first, but the team were absolutely lovely and I’ve had a great season with them. Finishing second in the League and making it to the quarter-finals of the Cup made it all the better,” said Laity, who has also been training with Clifton Ladies since Christmas.

“Bath was always my first choice to come to University. The city is so lovely and the facilities are amazing,” she added.

Jody Paul, head hockey coach at the University of Bath, said he was delighted to see her make the Wales 16 for Glasgow.

“She’s played a full season for the University team. She is quick and listens,” he said.

“She’s a very bubbly and positive person and you can see that on the hockey pitch.”

While Laity makes her Commonwealth Games debut in Glasgow, graduate Emma Batten returns to action after featuring in the Welsh team that finished seventh in Delhi four years ago.

Batten, who made her Wales debut in 2006, graduated from the University with a Sport and Exercise Science degree in 2011 and currently plays for Surbiton.

Their selections bring the total number of athletes with University of Bath links selected for Glasgow 2014 to 26. They will represent seven countries in six sports at the Games.

They will compete for England, Ghana, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Scotland and Wales, in athletics, badminton, hockey, judo, shooting and swimming.

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