Out of more than half a million pupils who took the new style GCSE exams this summer, only about 700 achieved the highest possible grade in every subject they took.
Nottingham IHC’s Madison Wright was one of those students and both she and her parents believe it is no coincidence that her academic performances got better and better as her involvement in ice hockey grew.
Whilst many parents and players reduce training in key academic years, often because of ice hockey’s well-known late night finishes, Madison and family took the exact opposite route.
Last season she signed up with Nottingham U18s, Nottingham Vipers Women, Nottingham Lions Academy, Nottingham Vipers U16 Girls and regularly travelled to Hull to play and train with the Kingston Diamonds Ladies Elite League team. She also rarely missed the National Ice Centre’s weekly Barrier Hockey sessions.
On top of all this, she participated in GB U16 and GB U18 Womens’ development programmes.
“Ice hockey relaxes me and helps me take my mind off things”, explained 16 year old Madison. “My
body clock soon got used to the late nights and when study time came I always felt ready.”
The demanding schedule involved 40 games across the season. Arriving home at between midnight and 1.30am for several days a week became the norm and during the first few weeks of her final exams she continued to play two games each weekend. Although the family had no rules on late nights, study and homework were expected to be kept right up to date.
Madison’s Dad agrees with her, “Obviously both Madison and Rushcliffe School have had a big hand
in this result, but I genuinely believe that ice hockey has played a significant role too. She is always in
a ‘happy place’ after training and games. I am sure this made learning easier and will have helped
her to deal with the mental pressures of study and exams. It is a tough sport and one which teaches
great life lessons about the value of hard work and commitment.”
She will now move on to begin four A Levels in September whilst continuing to maintain the same intensity with her sport.
Club Development Officer, Ryan Rathbone, added “If UK playing standards are to continue their path
of improvement, it is inevitable that junior Club players will be asked to devote increasing amounts
of time to high quality practise. It is good to see that Madison has shown that ice hockey, even with
its arduous training times and travel, does not mean having to sacrifice academic achievement.”
Nottingham IHC supports young people to get involved with the world’s fastest team sport – if you are interested to know more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org