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Wirral schoolgirls are European lacrosse champions
2:55pm Tuesday 2nd October 2012 in Sport
TWO Wirral schoolgirls are part of the elite squad which helped take England’s ladies’ lacrosse team to victory in the recent European championships.
Olivia Wimpenny, aged 16, and Charlotte Lytollis, who is 17, both from Oxton and both sixth-formers at Birkenhead school, are among the youngest members of the national senior team.
The girls have played lacrosse together for years, first as members of Wirral Lacrosse Club and then at County and North of England level before being selected to represent England.
Their school PE teacher Niamh Gilbride said: “It’s extraordinary to have such talented lacrosse players living so close together and going to the same school.
"They are both incredible players and we are very lucky to have them on the school team.”
Olivia, who is a midfield attack in the England squad and Charlotte, a midfield defence, brought back gold medals from the European championships in Amsterdam.
They are now practising hard for the Stars and Stripes Tournament in California next month which includes the Australian and Canadian national teams as well as Stanford University and a Japanese university.
Both girls, who also play netball for the school, spend most of their spare time honing their lacrosse skills.
Being part of the national team means fortnightly trips to Guildford to work with other squad members as well as attending regular regional practice sessions.
“We don’t have much time to ourselves but it makes you very efficient in fitting everything else in,” said Charlotte who wants to study Sports and Exercise Science at University.
Olivia, who has just started at Birkenhead School doing A-levels in geography, maths, chemistry and business studies, agreed: “In some ways we’re lucky having such a full training timetable.
"It makes sure you plan your school work and get on with it. We’re never able to just leave something to a later date,” she said.
In the four years since it went co-ed, Birkenhead School has quickly built a reputation for girls’ lacrosse, with teams winning several tournaments and the under-15s becoming runners-up in the national schools’ finals in 2010.