HOCKEY: Former Grantham school student Shona gets Olympic Games call-up

Shona McCallin (right) in action for Great Britain against USA in the Hockey Champions Trophy event in London last Thursday. Photo: Simon Parker
Shona McCallin (right) in action for Great Britain against USA in the Hockey Champions Trophy event in London last Thursday. Photo: Simon Parker
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Former KGGS student Shona McCallin has this week been called up for this year’s Olympics at Rio.

Having played hockey since she was just six years old, the Games will be the pinnacle of 24-year-old Shona’s career thus far.

Unsurprisingly in this modern age, Shona, of Dry Doddington, received her call-up via email and the British Olympic Association announced the names of the Rio 2016 women’s hockey squad for Team GB to the media on Monday.

Shona and her team-mates were being fitted out with their official GB Olympic kit yesterday which she said would help make the whole thing more real in her mind. She said: “It hasn’t sunk in yet. I don’t think it will sink in before I am on the plane to Rio.

“I heard by email and I was frantically looking for my name on the list.

“I hoped to be on the squad, but there were different combinations of players that could be chosen.”

As the second youngest in the Rio GB set-up, midfielder Shona is among eight of the 16-strong squad who will be making their Olympic debut this summer, but she has plenty of international experience under her belt, Great Britain and England – having 85 junior caps for the latter.

She made her international debut on England’s under-16 squad and went on to captain the under-21s to fourth spot in the 2013 Junior World Cup – their highest ever placing.

Playing with the seniors, Shona helped England to win gold at the Women’s European Championships last year.

Shona said she and the squad would be flying out to Rio in about four weeks’ time and she praised the GB support staff who will be on hand to help players with things such as acclimatization and recovering from jet lag.

And Shona said she was confident in her Great Britain women’s team’s ability to do the nation proud at the Games.

She said: “We’ve considently medalled over the last few years and now there’s not much between the top teams.

“Every time I play for England or Great Britain, it’s a proud moment.”