Fresh from inspiring a generation of young British players with her gold medal-winning performance at Rio 2016 this summer, Sophie Bray is now going global.
The hockey star was a key member of the Great Britain side that secured a historic gold during the summer and is now spreading her love for the game with a trip to Sri Lanka.
The former Tiffin Girls’ School pupil is heading to south Asia tomorrow for two weeks of voluntary work with Extra Cover, a charity set up after the 2004 tsunami which devastated the country.
The organisation, co-founded by Matthew Hansford, the father of her former team-mate Courtney Hansford, helps provide essentials such as food, clean water and textbooks to pupils in some of the most remote schools in the country.
Bray will also get the chance to showcase hockey to the children, showcasing a sport they may not have experienced before.
“I’ve always wanted to do some charity work abroad and I’ve always wanted to teach kids that have potentially never seen hockey stick or a hockey ball,” the 26 year-old said.
“When I was speaking to Courtney, she explained about her dad’s charity and it sounded perfect.
“I jumped at the chance and I can’t wait to go out there.
“Every time I speak to someone and say I’m off to Sri Lanka, if they’ve been they’ve only got incredible things to say about the island so I’m really looking forward to it.”
Bray, who plays her club hockey in the Netherlands for SV Kampong, will be joined by team-mate and Spanish international Georgina Oliva.
Together, they will spend time both in and out of the classroom with Extra Cover, teaching both English and hockey to children as well as delivering food packages to families that need them.
So far, they have received £3,530 in donations for the project and are still hoping to raise more before the conclusion of their visit.
“All the donations that have come through have been incredible and we’re so grateful for all of them,” Bray said.
“We’re just going to keep on trying to fundraise as much as possible.
“I know for sure that when we come back we will have seen certain projects that we want to continue to fundraise for.”
Donations can be made at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/extracovervisit and more details about Extra Cover can be found here: http://www.extracover.org.uk.
Feature image courtesy of International Hockey Federation, via Youtube, with thanks