A Kirkby Stephen student has been given a leading role in nurturing the cream of Cumbria's teenage hockey players.

The Westmorland Gazette: Lisa Shaw

Lisa Shaw (pictured above), 18, of Cotehouse Farm, Bleatarn, has been appointed assistant county coach to the under-17 boys and under-12 girls' squads.

"It's a fantastic opportunity to work alongside different head coaches in developing young players to improve their skills and overall match play," she said.

She is currently studying for a National Diploma in Sport (Development, Coaching and Fitness) at the University of Cumbria's Newton Rigg Campus near Penrith.

Sport has played a huge part in Lisa's life and she is currently a member of the county under-21 and senior women's hockey squads.

Earlier this year, she helped the women's squad to the National County Championships title for the second year running.

"It was fantastic to be part of such a great winning team," she says.

As well as being an excellent competitive player, Lisa is qualified as a Level 1 hockey coach and a level 1 hockey umpire.

She is also an assistant netball and tag rugby coach.

To be a good hockey player you need to have the basic skills and a good grounding in the sport, she says.

"After that you can develop and learn new things from different experiences, coaching and circumstances.

"You also need to be willing to learn, ready to socialise and be up for a laugh and a good time. Sport is always better if you enjoy it.

"At times hockey can be quite dangerous but it is not as rough as people make it out to be.

"The main injuries are just cuts and bruises from tripping on astro-turf. Occasionally there are broken bones or other serious injuries but that happens with all contact sports now and again."

After graduating Lisa is considering a career in the leisure industry or studying for a higher sports-related qualification.