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Hannah Helps England To Silver Medal
Monday 12th September 2016 @ 13:18 by Mark Phillip
Denton & Audenshaw Sports

An Audenshaw Sixth Form student is currently celebrating a year to remember both on – and off – the volleyball court.

Hannah Monks, 16, recently received an outstanding set of GCSE results on top of her first ever appearances for the England Volleyball team, where she claimed a silver medal and the super seven golden ball.

The teenager, who claimed silverware with the Tameside Under 16 squad earlier this year after winning the national final, has been accepted into Audenshaw after achieving 5 A’s, 3 B’s and a C grade.

Hannah’s academic achievements have been matched by that of her on-court appearances, as the teenager recently made her first appearances for the national side during the UK School Games competition which took place over a four day period at Loughborough University.

An ‘opposite hitter’, Hannah has been playing volleyball for the past eight years, but revealed she had no idea that she would one day be representing her country.

Speaking to Reporter Sport , she said: “I’ve grown up around the sport from a young age while watching my mum play for a local league team and a national side in London.

“Watching the game inspired me to take up the sport myself.

“I attended open England trials in April 2015 but wasn’t really expecting anything to come of it, although I was eager to see the standard and be part of it.

“I shortly received an email to say I’d been spotted by the coaches and they’d like to see me again.

“This is when I became part of the England programme which afforded me the opportunity to travel around the country to various training camps to stand myself in good stead for selection.”

Despite being initially sceptical about her chances of representing England, Hannah has managed to defy her doubts and, in the process, become an integral part of the national squad.

In fact, Hannah’s performance at the tournament was so good that she received the super seven golden ball: an award which recognises outstanding ability on the court.

Describing the opportunity to play for England as one of her proudest moments, Hannah added: “Winning a silver medal and also picking up a super seven golden ball for the position I played in is definitely one of my proudest moments.

“Just being able to represent my country is a huge achievement, so to come out with a silver medal was a bonus and such a great experience.”

Despite her undoubted talents on court, Hannah is yet to make a decision on her future in the sport. She said: “My future ambitions for volleyball have not yet been decided because as people may be aware volleyball isn’t a highly recognisable sport and the struggle for funding at the moment is a problem, so reaching a standard like the Olympics is quite hard but I hope that when I’m older there will be a chance for me to be a part of the GB development programme.”

As far as career ambitions go, Hannah has her heart set on sports therapy.

She hopes that studying at Audenshaw Sixth Form – renowned for its a-Level success – will help achieve her aim. “My career ambition is to become a sports therapist and I will hopefully achieve that by studying four A-Levels and then moving onto university where I hope to continue playing volleyball as well” she said.

Hannah – who previously studied at Hyde Community College – has an exciting few months to look forward to.

Apart from continuing with her education at Audenshaw, she will be relishing the opportunity to make her mark in the women’s national volleyball league. She said: “I have a selection camp very soon to represent England in the U17 NEVZA championships which will be played in Denmark.

“This would be my first overseas tournament if I were to be selected.”