A multi-talented young Cumbrian is the latest star from our county to be picked to represent her country.

Martha Bainbridge, 14, from Kirkby Stephen, was has been selected to play hockey for England Under-16s, and is the only Cumbrian representative in the squad.

Martha's mother, Angela, has supported her throughout her fledgling hockey career, taking her around the country, and last week accompanied her to Lilleshall National Sports Centre, where she played her first matches for England.

Angela spoke of Martha's journey from Kirby Stephen Primary and Grammar Schools to national recognition:

"She started playing hockey when she was only 6, and played for Kirkby Stephen Hockey Club."

"Martha likes many sports, including cricket and football, she was asked to play for Sunderland girls Under-11s a few years ago, but decided on hockey, and was selected to play for Cumbria County Hockey when she was 11 years old.

"She was invited to one of the regional performance centres at Fylde, and we went to St Albans for a few days for a tournament - Martha'ss team was called the Pennine Pumas, and there happened to be various scouts from England Hockey there."

Angela said that Martha was subsequently offered a trial with England Under-16s:

"We were told she had been selected just after Christmas, and at 14, she is one of the youngest. 

"Most of the girls are 16. 

"We were at Lilleshall last week at the National Sports Centre last week, where she played her first games for England. 

"They played 3 games against Ulster Girls, and they tried to give all of the girls a chance, so Martha played in two of them and scored one."

Angela said that she and Martha, who plays as a forward, have high hopes for the future and can continue to do her town and county proud:

"I’ve travelled around all these years watching her, and its amazing to see all the hard work pay off.

"She is the only girl from the area – there's one from Newcastle, and one from Stockton, but that's it from the North.

"If Martha is lucky enough to be chosen for the 5 nations it will be held in Holland in April and again if lucky to be chosen for the 8 nations it will be in Barcelona in July, with training camps where they play Scotland and Germany or Belgium in between, with locations to be confirmed."

"She has been very lucky with the coaching she has had over the years from Kirkby Stephen Hockey Club and school."