A HYDE teenager is celebrating after winning a silver medal in a world championships of the sport of underwater hockey.
Jake Charnock was part of Great Britain’s Under-19 men’s side at the recent age group competition in Sheffield.
And after exceeding all expectations, the 17-year-old ended up with a silver medal around his neck after his two goals helped his nation into the final.
“I’m very proud,” said Jake. “I’m very proud of the whole team really.
“The whole tournament was interesting as I got to meet players from all over the world and it was a great experience.
“I got on with the players from New Zealand the best, even though they beat us in the final!
“We did better than we thought we would if I’m being honest. We targeted putting ourselves in line for a medal by reaching the semi-finals but we won that and made it to the final, going one step further than we thought we would.
“And I’m not entirely sure how many goals I ended up with in the tournament but the main thing I could take out of it was that I proved myself at that level.”
Jake, who is just started his second year at Ashton Sixth Form College, has only been playing underwater hockey at Tameside club Xarifa for three years after his mum spotted a video on Facebook and said, ‘Do you fancy doing this?’
“The main thing was that I enjoyed my first session there,” added former Hyde Community College pupil Jake, of Longfield Close, “Now I’m training five days a week.
“I do a session at Medlock in Droylsden, one at Wright Robinson school in Abbey Hey and three at the Mancjester Aquatics Centre.
“It’s definitely full on but I want to get better and better.”
Jake’s world championship appearance is not the end. He already has his sights on appearing for Great Britain’s U24 men’s side at the next championships in 2021, which are likely to be held in Portugal.He was not the only local face to appear in the world championships as seven members of Xarifa were picked for Great Britain sides.
Silver medallists Harry Thompson and George Lythe, both from Dukinfield, played for the U24 men.
While Jake was alongside club captain Declan McNulty, who travels from Hale in Merseyside to play, in the U19s.
New Zealand succeeded in gaining medals in all categories – three of them gold – but it has a great resource of players as underwater hockey is played in schools there.