A floorball talent from Hastings represented her country in a global competition.
Lauren Edwards-Fowle played for Great Britain in European qualification for the Women’s World Championships 2015.
She said: “It was a real privilege. Even in a new sport it’s quite an honour to represent your country, even if we didn’t do particularly well as a team.”
Floorball - which is often viewed as a summer variation of ice hockey - is a new sport in the UK. There hadn’t been a senior women’s GB team for some 14 years until an open invitation was issued to attend training two years ago.
A squad was subsequently formed - mainly consisting of people who play for men’s teams in the Senior National League - and they have gained experience at several international tournaments.
In Scandinavia and eastern Europe, however, floorball is enormously popular and players are often professional athletes, whereas the British players have full-time jobs.
Great Britain were drawn with four of the world’s strongest nations at European Qualification 3 in Nitra, Slovakia, from February 4-8 and realised beforehand they had no chance of qualifying.
Britain lost all five of their matches to finish last of the six competing teams, scoring two goals and conceding 71. Czech Republic, Slovakia, Norway and Russia were the four qualifiers, with Italy finishing fifth.
“Even though we didn’t win any of our matches, to be able to score a couple of goals was quite an achievement,” said Lauren, who featured in all the matches and was MVP against Italy.
“We all had an amazing time and in actual fact it wasn’t a terrible result for us. It was an amazing opportunity to play teams of that standard at an international level and the tournament itself was amazing.
“We’ve all improved a huge amount just from the experience of playing in those games. We know what we have to improve on and what skills we’re lacking. We hope to go back in two years and at least win some of our matches.”
Lauren, 31, only started playing floorball three years ago as her personal trainer at the gym, Kaspars Maksimovs, originally from Latvia, was the coach at the Hastings Predators Floorball Club.
The club actually started as an enrichment project at what was then Hastings College in 2011 and has developed into a Senior National League outfit, which also runs an under-16 team and an after school club at St Leonards Academy.
Although a relative newcomer to floorball, Lauren - who moved to Hastings from the south west at the age of 19 - has always played sport. She used to be a competitive track and cross-country runner, and has done quite a lot of obstacle course racing events.