Venn Group is proud to announce that it will be sponsoring another of our consultants in their sporting endeavours; Tom Allander. Tom is part of the England Rink Hockey squad, and we asked about his time in the sport and upcoming tournaments:
I have been playing Rink Hockey for 11 years now, and like most people, it wasn’t something I’d ever heard of before starting. I very much stumbled into it through my brother, and after finding I enjoyed it just stuck with it. I initially played for Norwich, but transferred to Kings Lynn two seasons ago to compete in the top division.
At the start of this season I had several personal goals and have already hit one of them; winning and retaining the Premier League title. We are four times national champions, but this season was definitely the hardest so far due to the number of injuries suffered in the team, myself included. In fact, we only had a fully fit squad available 3 or 4 times this season!
Our win here meant that we qualify for the CERS Cup (the hockey equivalent of the Europa League), which will be a massive event later this year. It would also be great to win the National Cup, having lost in the final last year on penalties. This was against our closest rivals, who happen to be my old team, so I've been looking for redemption ever since. Additionally, if we win the cup in the same season as our premier league win then we will have achieved the double, which hasn't been done in around 6 years.
Domestic competitions aside, I really enjoy playing on the international stage. A key event for me this year is the World Roller Games, which are being held in Barcelona in just over a fortnights time. This will be my 8th Championship for England, and it’s a privilege to represent the country again. It would be amazing to come away with a medal, but this will be a very difficult task. While the England team is self-funded, all our opponents have professional players, so we are definitely going in as underdogs. My overriding hope for us is that we go out there and are competitive, but we have a good set of players and have pulled off shock results in the past, so you never know.
On another note, I am really looking forward to the National Summer Camps, which are run every year in August. These are a chance for me to give back to the sport’s community and help coach the hordes of kids looking to improve their skills.
To have the support of Venn Group is massive. As mentioned, the England team are the only one in our international bracket that fund ourselves entirely; nothing is provided or subsidised. The financial burden largely falls on me and having recently moved to London, which is not exactly cheap, I was seriously concerned at my ability to play in the World Roller Games this year. To get Venn’s assistance really does mean a lot, and also allows me to start paying back my parents. They have already committed a massive amount, not just financially, but in time and support as well.
I would like to thank Venn Group again for their commitment to supporting my endeavours, both in and out of the office. I will be sure to update you on my progress throughout this year of sponsorship.