Sporting Success for Withington Alumna
Sophie Whitehead (Class of 2012)
Sophie Whitehead is a member of the England Senior Female Lacrosse team, who in the summer of 2016 won the World Lacrosse test series in a 13-7 victory against Australia. She first represented England playing Lacrosse in 2011 at the U19 World Championships in Germany, and credits her sporting success to her early training at Withington…
“I loved my time at Withington where sport played a major part; the school ethos and atmosphere meant I was encouraged to fulfil my sporting potential. I was well supported by the PE staff as well as all my other teachers and their supportive nature allowed me to play as much sport as I could whilst I completed my academic work. I feel the School provides girls with many opportunities in sport, and I was encouraged to continue playing all three core sports throughout my time at Withington.
I was able to take different skills from all three sports in order to develop my lacrosse skills and progress to international level. My Withington teammates ultimately shaped my sporting experience at School, as training and playing with smart girls allowed me to develop my tactical skills and challenge my own thinking about lacrosse strategies. The small nature of Withington meant I made great friendships through sport, the Lacrosse National School’s Tournaments were the highlight of my time at School, where I am sure my teammates will agree we made some life long memories!
Withington instilled in me the mentality needed to be successful as an elite athlete. I was taught self-belief and to have a high expectation of myself to be the best I can be. School helped me to develop a hunger to achieve and push myself to the highest level possible, even after setbacks.
I genuinely believe the sporting start I was given at School has allowed me to become the player I am today, establishing my team work, leadership and core sporting skills, resulting in selection to represent my country. The advice I would give to current pupils is to throw yourselves into all opportunities at Withington. School is not all about academia, and extra-curricular activities will develop your time management, leadership and team working skills- all of which are what employers are interested in in today’s competitive job market.
I was really excited to hear about the planned new sporting developments at Withington. I believe they will provide the girls with even more opportunities to get involved with sport and to develop the skills sport instils in you for life after school. Not only will the plans encourage girls to progress to regional, national and international representation, it will also allow girls to get involved in being active and healthy outside of the three core sports. A very exciting time for sport at Withington!”
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