Shona McCallin inspires the next generation

Shona McCallin Futures Cup

With the Futures Cup taking place last week some of our stars of tomorrow may have taken their first steps on the road to international stardom. One player who has trodden that pathway, from Futures Cup to Olympic Champion is Shona McCallin. The Great Britain star spent some time with the athletes at the Futures Cup talking them through her rise to the top. We caught up with her to find out more.

“I played in the first ever Futures Cup for the Mercia Lynx. We won it which was great.” she told England Hockey. “It has changed quite a lot. We were in transition from the regional competitions to the Futures Cup at the time. That change has made it much more professional.”

Despite the move towards the more professional set up, McCallin’s abiding memory of the competition is more around the team ethic and the memories she still cherishes to this day:

“It was great to have a good strong build up and create some great memories. It was fantastic to feel what it is like to be part of a real team to be part of a tournament environment.” she added “Coming back here now quite a lot has changed and there’s more professionalism about it, lots more things going on, the players have more opportunities to learn. It is great to be back and to find out how all the players are developing.”

Shona at futures

Having made the journey to the very top of her sport, McCallin knows the importance of being exposed to big tournament environments and being prepared for what the world of international hockey may throw out. Whilst making that transition from promising junior player to full international has been a fantastic achievement for her she is keen to stress the importance of enjoying hockey, no matter what the outcome:

“Junior hockey was really important to me and I have a lot of fond memories growing up playing hockey. Futures Cup was a pivotal moment in many players’ careers. For some it was the highest they ever got. For all of us, regardless of what we went on to representing our region and putting ourselves out there was so important. The bonus that came out of it has been playing for England but more than that, it was all about playing with my friends and creating memories.”

Who knows if the new Shona McCallin was out on the field this past week? Who knows if the players will go all the way and bring home gold medals like McCallin and her teammates? What we do know is those players at Futures Cup ahve made plenty of memories already, just like Shona did back in 2009.