Izzy Petter is not your usual 19-year-old.
It’s not often a teenager can say they’ve played a crucial hand in helping Great Britain qualify for an Olympic Games but Petter is one of the few exceptions.
The Surrey-born forward, the youngest member of the GB hockey squad, stole the show in the women’s two-leg qualifier against Chile in November, scoring a stunning opener to send the defending champions on their way to Tokyo with a 5-1 aggregate victory.
With such an impressive performance it’s easy to forget that Petter is still in her teenage years, juggling the pressure of helping GB retain their Rio title with sitting her first year Loughborough University exams in a hotel room while on tour with the squad.
As Great Britain prepare to face Australia in their FIH Pro League season opener this Saturday, revision for a sports science exam is the last thing most players would want on their minds but the star pupil she is, Petter is keen to impress on all fronts.
“My life is basically a constant commute up and down the M1,” she laughed. “I was meant to take my exam at 3am in the morning, but thankfully Loughborough have been very good at managing it and I took it at a decent time.
“Last year there were so many transitions – going to uni, moving to a new house and stepping up to play hockey at senior level. It was crazy but also great because it’s always been my dream to play hockey in the GB jersey.
“Sometimes I can’t wait for the day when I can go home and chill out without having to revise, but I always think I am such a lucky 19-year-old. I get to travel the world and do what I love and it’s good to be able to put my mind to something else.”
In just six months’ time, Petter could be forced to schedule exams around an even more hectic schedule if she manages to seal her spot in the GB hockey squad for the 2020 Tokyo Games.
Olympic memories don’t get much fonder if you’re a hockey fan, the GB women finishing on the podium with bronze and gold at London and Rio respectively – a streak Petter would love to continue if given the chance.
“I remember going to London 2012 to watch the Netherlands v New Zealand game,” she added. “It ended on shuffles and I just remember thinking, this is insane.
“At the end of every Olympic Games I always find myself wishing that it could just go on for another week. I love watching it all, hockey, swimming, athletics, everything.
“My ultimate hockey goal is to go to the Olympics, and if I could ever get a medal like the girls did last time, that would be even better.”