In conversation with Rebecca
We caught up with 2017 Leaver, Rebecca, a sporting legend during her five years at Abbot's Hill.
We caught up with 2017 Leaver, Rebecca, a sporting legend during her five years at Abbot’s Hill. A lacrosse county champion whilst at School she has now progressed onto representing England and has her sights set high for the 2028 Olympic Games.
Rebecca joined Abbot’s Hill in Year 7 staying for 5 years to complete her GCSE’s, and then going onto Berkhamsted School. Whilst at Abbot’s Hill Rebecca was first team Lacrosse Captain (2017) leading her team to the semi-finals at Division 3 of National Schools. Outside of School Rebecca was U15 County Captain, Junior Club Captain, and twice U18 Super County Champion (2017 – 2018) and Club Senior Player (2016 – present).
Alongside her love of Lacrosse she also played club Football and was a three time County Champion. Not content with just Lacrosse and Football Rebecca also represented Abbot’s Hill at regional Cross Country meets, played first team Netball, and frequently competed in Athletics and Tennis competitions. Unsurprisingly Rebecca scooped up the Sports Personality of the Year in her final year at Abbot’s Hill, 2017.
Since Abbots Hill, Rebecca gained a Sports Scholarship at Berkhamsted School, where she successfully completed A-Levels in Maths, Geography and PE. At 16, shortly after leaving Abbot’s Hill, she gained a place in the U19 England team and was selected U19 Home Internationals making her way up to the A team in 2019. She was also training as part of the World Cup squad, making the last 30 she was able to join England tours to the USA and Canada.
More recently Rebecca has played in New Zealand for South Island in the Nationals, as well as being selected as a reserve for the U23 England squad and being named on the A team for the home nations mixed lacrosse team.
Whilst at Abbot’s Hill
What was your favourite subject whilst at School?
Probably PE both the physical and the theoretical sides, I also really enjoyed Maths and Geography through school, they were always subjects I was interested in. However, running around in the cold rain just was something no classroom subject could match.
What was your biggest achievement whilst at Abbot’s Hill?
In terms of sport for sure getting to the semi-finals at Nationals. It was so enjoyable playing the sport I love with so many amazing people. In terms of within the classroom, I was pretty proud of my GCSE grades, because I know that I worked hard and got what I deserved.
What is your fondest memory of School?
It's always hard to narrow this down; the trips were always a blast, from Disney Netball tour, to Crandale and Madrid. But the day to day life, in the common room or lessons are always great memories to look back on.
In what ways do you think that Abbot’s Hill helped or supported you with regards to your sporting achievements?
Abbot’s Hill really built my foundation in sports. I played football for 5 years prior and netball at primary school but it didn't compare to my time at Abbot’s. I remember telling the PE staff;
“I won't be playing lacrosse, I'm sticking with football, I want to play for England women’s football’,
In less than 4 years they turned me into a junior international in lacrosse. I learned more than I could have imagined through sport at Abbot’s; the value of patience, friendships, resilience, hard work and so much more. Having teachers who support your dreams and help you in all ways to get there, through extra practice or staying after lessons to go through homework problems, to having someone to talk when things get tough. The support I got at Abbots Hill was just unbelievable and i wouldn't have been able to be as successful if I wasn't surrounded by such amazing friends, mentors and teachers.
How do you manage your time to be able to do so much sport whilst also studying?
Luckily for me, I'm very hyper organised and I always enjoy having lots to take on! This made it a lot easier to juggle sports and studying. I used to, and still do; make very strict schedules and put in work load, training plans and other activities. This helps me see where I have free time for either extra training or at school, when I could fit in the optional work. Especially during exams I split my revision up with wall ball or running to make the long days of practice papers somewhat enjoyable.
What advice would you give to someone who would like to pursue a sporting career?
Keep working hard, you will hear it a lot but you should never give up. When you have a passion for something, go after it. If you truly want something, you will make the time; you will make time to do extra reps in lifts, or the last sprints when you feel like giving up. Even with setbacks, it's horrid in the moment but use it as fuel. I got dropped 3 months before final selections for a World Cup and it was the worst feeling in the world, but I used it as motivation to push myself harder to make a U23 team and hopefully Senior World Cup in the near future. Try being your own inspiration, look at how you can be better.
Life after Abbot’s Hill
What are you currently doing? (eg work, gap year, university)
I took a gap year, and it was the best thing that I could have done, I was living and working in Christchurch, New Zealand, playing sport, teaching sport and travelling all around Australia and NZ. Unfortunately I had to go home in March due to Covid, just 5 days after playing in the NZ nationals tournament, and luckily found a job at Tesco where I have worked up to a training shift manager.
What are your future plans?
Well, very unlike me, my plans are not set due to border closures and many other great things that come with a global pandemic. The plan is to go back to New Zealand and study International Hospitality Management in Auckland, but for now I am staying at Tesco getting work experience until the borders open for non-citizens.
What do you see yourself doing in 5 years’ time? Where would you like to be?
I would love to be working as a manager within the hotel industry, so I can continue travelling around the world. In terms of sports, I would have hopefully just played my first Senior World Cup and be working towards the 2028 LA Olympic games.