Hayley Fischer representing NSW at the under-15 national championships held in Grafton.
Hayley Fischer representing NSW at the under-15 national championships held in Grafton.

Young hockey star picked for prestigious program

HAVING already recently represented the state at the under-15 level, the development of local hockey talent Hayley Fischer is set to receive an enormous boost.

The Beaches Hockey Club player has been named in the Hockey NSW Athlete Acceleration Program (AAP).

The program is aimed at talented athletes aged 16 to 18, where traditionally the highest rate of drop outs occur and when skill development is crucial to an athlete's progress.

The fact that Hayley is only 14 years-old is testament to the ability the Jetty High student possesses.

Having been selected for the AAP earlier than normal shocked Hayley.

"It was a big surprise when I found out I'd been selected in the squad, I wasn't expecting it at all," she said.

"One of my goals this year was to make the NSW under-15 team, so to be named in the AAP squad on top of that is a huge bonus.

"It's a great opportunity to improve all aspects of my game and work with some of the best coaches and support people from Hockey NSW."

A highly sophisticated program developed through extensive collaboration with NSWIS and Hockey Australia, the AAP has been rigorously tested to ensure that it meets Australian Winning Edge requirements.

Those in the know who saw Hayley play for her state in Grafton a fortnight ago have no doubts Hayley's selection is deserved.

"Hayley really stepped up at the under-15s championships in Grafton," Grafton's regional coaching co-ordinator Rick Sampson said.

"She controlled the game really well from the centre mid-field position and her leadership skills were very important to the team on and off the field.

"Hayley's best attributes are her speed, endurance and a wonderful ability to read the game. Her selection into the AAP program is a fantastic achievement."

With athletes selected from every region, the program establishes a means for athletes from any area to advance their skills to the elite level.

The program caters for 60 boys and 60 girls across both age groups, running for 12 months from next month.