Surbiton hockey youngster out to prove a point to England selectors at Sainsbury’s School Games

After representing the England Under-16 hockey team, Pyrford youngster Evan Kimber has his sights set on marking his Sainsbury’s 2015 School Games debut in style.

Kimber, 17, will be representing England Boys Blue and although this is his debut he still has plenty of substantial hockey experience having competed in other junior international tournaments, such as the 4 Nations in Spain and Germany.

The St George’s College pupil has represented England, for which he had to undergo very hard fitness training, and played in the National Premier League with Surbiton HC.

Kimber admits the team’s first goal at the Sainsbury’s School Games, which get underway in Manchester on September 3, is to win their matches against Scotland and England Red in the group stage that could get them through to the final.

The midfielder, who also plays as a forward, suffered disappointed after missing out on selection for the England Under-18s but is determined to improve his performance and join the next squad.

“This was obviously very disappointing and I was pretty gutted as this was my goal for the year,” he said.

“However, I also happened to join Surbiton HC and so I was able to work hard and train with their first team to try and improve as a player and hopefully gain selection this year.

“Representing England was the highlight of my career so far, I thoroughly enjoyed it despite the experiences being some of the most physically demanding excursions I’ve ever had to do.

“Getting a taste of international hockey was really great and it’s addictive, leaving you wanting to compete more and more at a high level.

“I am looking forward to the School Games as it is my first time competing there, it’s an exciting prospect to be part of such a large-scale event.”

Kimber’s parents moved from South Africa a year after his birth and hockey became part of his life since the age of five.

He was inspired by London 2012 where he got to watch international hockey and realised how great it would be to compete in such an environment.

“I have aspirations to go far internationally which is obviously quite an incentive, but essentially the game is for enjoyment and I love the banter and sense of being in a serious team,” he added.

“This competition is a really exciting prospect and I am looking forward to playing in the Games, from past players whom I have spoken to they all said that it has a great atmosphere and the whole event is really enjoyable.

“Personally, I would like to play well in the Games, a couple of goals would be nice too.

“Essentially though I’d like us to play well and go a long way in the tournament, that way we will all have a great time and benefit from the weekend.”

The Sainsbury’s 2015 School Games, which is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, takes place in Manchester from 3-6 September 2015. Visit for more information.

Feature image courtesy of Jason Crellin, via Flickr, with thanks

Related Articles