Faulkner relishing chance to perform at Olympic venue

110485-07_england_hockey'Havant Hockey Club players get England call-up,'Daniel Faulkner (17).'Pic Mick Young
110485-07_england_hockey'Havant Hockey Club players get England call-up,'Daniel Faulkner (17).'Pic Mick Young
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Daniel Faulkner is gearing up for an extra special London 2012 experience.

The Fareham hockey ace is no stranger to the international scene.

But selection for the Sainsbury’s School Games has given him the chance to show his skills at Old Loughtonians Hockey Club – one of the Olympic hockey training venues.

It will be a proud moment for the 17-year-old Havant College pupil and his family.

Daniel’s dad David is the performance director of GB hockey – and an Olympic gold medallist from Seoul in 1988.

However, it is Daniel who will take centre stage with the England under-18s next month.

‘It was a big honour to be picked,’ he said.

‘Every time you get picked you can’t really take it for granted because you have always got to be working hard if you want to keep getting selected.

‘That means when you do get selected you can take great pride in being there. It shows how hard you have worked over the past few months to show you are worthy of selection.

‘It is always an honour to represent your country, no matter what level it is at.

‘I played in the UK School Games in Newcastle, and Sheffield last year, but this one is extra special being down in London for it.

‘My main aim for the event is to win all of our games and play the best hockey I can.

‘Playing on a blue hockey pitch at Old Loughtonians will be a good experience, especially as it’s the same colour as the Olympic venue.

‘Being around there in London at the time will be fantastic.

‘I played a year young at under-16s and then got into the under-18s team a year young as well.

‘So I have had experience playing for England before so it’s going to be great.

‘My dad and my mum will be coming down, as will my grandparents, I hope.’

The School Games are supported by a range of partners including the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, National Lottery funding from Sport England, Youth Sport Trust, Department of Health, Paralympics GB, Sport Wales, Sport Scotland and Sport Northern Ireland.

Faulkner has just returned from a successful England outing at the Four Nations tournament where he won gold.

And he hopes the good form will continue on home soil.

Faulkner added: ‘Hopefully we can keep playing well there and get some good results.’

The Sainsbury’s 2012 School Games take place in the Olympic Park and other venues from May 6-9, with school-aged elite athletes competing across 12 sports.

Visit 2012schoolgames.com for more information.