Olympic hockey star Anne Panter visits county club

Team GB bronze medallist Anne Panter visits Northampton Hockey Club
Team GB bronze medallist Anne Panter visits Northampton Hockey Club

Fans young and old got the chance to meet county Team GB star Anne Panter at an event hosted by Northampton Hockey Club.

Miss Panter spent this morning meeting fans at the hockey club’s Back to Hockey sessions, which it holds at Caroline Chisholm School in Wootton, Northampton.

Miss Panter, who grew up in Irthlingborough, talked about her experiences at the Olympics, posed for pictures with fans and signed items of memorabilia.

She was a member of the Team GB hockey side which took a bronze medal at the Olympics earlier this month.

She said: “The support we have had is just amazing, not just the people who were there at the Riverside but from people all across the country.

“It is nice we can come and share the bronze medal with people and it is a unique opportunity to grow the hockey membership base.

“Everyone who was there who saw it live, or saw it on TV, will have seen what an exciting sport it is.

“It has been great hearing people saying we made them proud.

“We keep hearing things about clubs having 100 new member signing up, and that is fantastic.”

The Back to Hockey sessions are aimed at getting former hockey players of all ages back playing the game.

The day was also part of the national Join In weekend, where thousands of clubs across the country are opening their doors for people of all ages to try new sports for free.

Tony Brennan, chairman of Northampton Hockey Academy, said: “It is a national endeavour supported by England Hockey and is the fourth sessions we have run here at Caroline Chisholm.

“We know the kids love it and they love the Olympics so we set up training for them as well. We are really pleased with the turnout.”

On Anne Panter’s visit, he added: “It is fabulous. She is a Northamptonshire lass and it is really nice to have her here today.”

One player who has taken part in the sessions is Carrie Barnes, 50, of Duncote, near Towcester.

She said: “I’ve not played since I was a schoolgirl which is more than 30 years ago. It has been surprisingly fun.

“I have got daughters who play and I have always been interested in their game but I am surprised I may still be able to play.”

The fourth and final session takes place at the school on Saturday, September 1, from 11am to 12.30pm.

For more information call Tony Brennan on 07701 021089, email academy@saintshockey.co.uk or visit the England Hockey website.