Best 12th Birthday ever at the FIH Pro League, Twickenham Stoop 2019

Anya Story

Super fan and hockey mad Anya Stringer (who plays for Sussex U12's development team and represents Eastbourne hockey club) delayed her birthday celebration from December to June so that she could attend a great day in Hockey history at Twickenham Stoop.

We spoke to her mother Claire about how excited she was before hand an she shared her experience with us. 

Anya's Story

It was a cloudy start to the day in Eastbourne but Anya Stringer, friends Sophie Fellows, Ava Jones mum, brother and her mums partner were excited to celebrate Anya’s 12th Birthday at the final FIH Pro League UK fixture at Twickenham Stoop.

Anya - Trip

 Leaving just after 10am, picking up her friends on route for the 2 hour journey the girls were all excited and chatting about the day ahead. They arrived at The Stoop around 12.30 and it was already beginning to fill up. There was an amazing atmosphere and plenty to do before the games including shops, food stalls and activations such as the speed challenge and 3 v 3 ‘Quicksticks’ Hockey.

Anya - Gate

Anya, family and friends were really impressed with the hockey pitch and the stadium. It looked amazing and they loved watching the UK Fire Service ‘hose the pitch down’ as it was done differently than at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

UK FIre Service 1

Anya was having a great day out with her friends and what made her birthday even more special was two great games of international Hockey with Great Britain taking both wins against New Zealand. It was especially good that both the men's and women's teams won. 

Anya was a little bit gutted at half time when she just missed out on a top that was fired from the t-shirt canon, but she wasn’t to disappoint because it was great fun and caused lots of excitement.

Anya - Stand

The highlight of the day was the women’s match. They had perfect seats to watch the penalty corners and see Great Britain’s Lily Owsley score her penalty corner goal, and, a big screen so they could watch all the video referrals clearly.

Anya View

With the weather at The Stoop being a hot one they stopped off for an ice cream to cool them down even though the pizza was calling their names because it smelt delicious. 

Anya Ice Cream

After the last match the girls headed to the front of a crowd at the side of the pitch to get autographs from the players. Anya is a big fan of captain Hollie Pearne-Webb and Goal Keeper Maddie Hinch. They managed to meet lots of players who were all friendly and get pictures with them. 

Anya - Players

Anya had an incredible 12th Birthday and she was so happy to spend it with her friends and family watching the sport she loves on a day that will make the history books. 


Thank you Anya for sharing your FIH Pro League story with us! 


Share your story with us - email sarah.coleman@englandhockey.co.uk