Many of our pupils have talents that are nurtured outside of school, and Year 11 pupil Kiana is no exception.
The talented 15-year-old trains nightly in her chosen discipline – ice hockey.
This dedication has seen her picked as captain of the England U15 girls team, and most recently called up to represent her country internationally in the Great Britain U18 girls team.
Kiana has loved her sport since she was a young girl and is amazed at how her career has snowballed.
She said, “I went to watch a match at Hull Ice Arena when I was 10 years old, and I just said to my parents, ‘I want to do that’.
“Since then I’ve been taking lessons and training regularly with two local teams – Hull Sharks, which is a mixed team, and Kingston Diamonds, which is a women-only team.
“I’ve worked hard at it, which must have shown because my coach put me forward for the England U15 team.
“I captained the team during our international games over the summer this year. We played mainly Finnish teams and we won three out of four matches.”
Kiana has just returned from Grenada in Spain, competing in a four team international tournament with Great Britain U18 girls team, against host nation Spain, alongside Hungary and Poland.
The team battled hard, but were unsuccessful. They are now training for a championship tournament in January, to be held over 10 days in Poland, where they hope they’ll be able to at least come away with a bronze medal.
Keen to keep up with her studies in her GCSE year, Kiana said, “I sometimes have to miss school because of travelling to international tournaments, but I make sure I work even harder in lessons, and I’ll be taking lots of revision to Poland with me.
“I also log in to Google Classroom to access work while I’m away.
“I’m not sure I’ll be able to make a career out of ice hockey, because, unfortunately, there’s less opportunity for girls in this sport.
“However, I’m still training hard and hoping to qualify for the Olympics in 2024 – that’s my dream goal.”
Kiana revealed that during the competition in Grenada, she was punched by a fellow competitor, and that ice hockey can be quite a violent sport.
She said, ”The worst injury I’ve had from a match is a chipped collarbone. I think it just comes with the sport.
“Generally though, I don’t get injured because I’m quite aggressive on the ice!”