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Two second year Durham students are setting the world alight in the Under 21 Hockey World Cup, currently taking place in Chile.

Final update:

Congratulations to the England team on their performance in the tournament. After winning their Quarter Final against Germany, the team finished a very respectable fourth after losing their semi final against the Netherlands.

Congratulations to the full squad, and particularly to Scarlett and Lizzy!Dividing bannerTop of the group stage but hopefully more to come… 

Scarlett Spavin and Lizzy Pocknell are part of an England squad that has topped their group table. After wins against New Zealand and USA and one defeat to Japan, goals by Lizzy against New Zealand and Scarlett against USA have helped the team to top their group and they now go into the knockout rounds full of confidence. They will play against Germany on 6 December in the Chilean National Stadium in Santiago.  

Scarlett Spavin and Lizzy PocknellThey will be joined in the knockout rounds by fellow group winners Netherlands, Belgium and Argentina, and by runners-up Japan, Spain, Australia and, of course, Germany. The final will be played on 10 December.  



Image: England Hockey (Scarlett Spavin and Lizzy Pocknell after the win against New Zealand)

Sport at Durham 

Scarlett and Lizzy are studying Natural Sciences and Law respectively and will be cheered on by the entire Durham Sporting community, their departments and, of course, their colleges. Scarlett is a member of Josepine Butler College and Lizzy is a member of South College.  

Both players are now based at Durham where they are part of the University’s Performance Programme competing for Durham University in England Hockey Division One North and the British University Sport National Premier League whilst accessing outstanding facilities and support services including two dedicated water-based hockey pitches, performance analysis, strength and conditioning and sports psychology.  

‘To be selected to compete on the world stage, at ultimately the highest level of junior competition in world hockey whilst continuing to combine high academic achievement at Durham University, is an outstanding testament to both of their characters. The road to this selection has not been easy and both have faced their challenges, we are all incredibly proud of what they have both achieved. At Durham we have been able to witness their personal resilience and commitment first hand and they have both perfectly demonstrated that achieving academic and sporting excellence is achievable with the right mindset and support.’ Gareth Weaver-Tyler, Head Hockey Coach 

Sports University of the Year 

Durham was named the Times and Sunday Times Sports University of the Year in 2023 in recognition of longstanding standing success across Performance, Participation and Community engagement. 

Sport at all levels is very much encouraged at Durham. The University has been in the top three of the British University & Colleges Sport league table since 2012 – and for the most part, number one for team sports. We have in excess of 140 alumni successfully engaged in sport-related careers and offer scholarships to support high performing athletes across over 20 different sports.  

Quentin Sloper, Director of Student Enrichment, commented: 

“It has filled us all with pride to follow the progress of the England Team at the World Cup. Both Lizzy and Scarlett have been outstanding throughout and we are very much looking forward to seeing what they and their team mates can achieve today. Lizzy and Scarlett are now part of an impressive list of age group and senior international hockey players who have studied – and developed as players and people – at Durham. They would be the first to recognise the contribution of our coaching team led by Gareth Weaver-Tyler and, of course, the coaches and support teams who worked with them both for many years before coming to Durham. It’s brilliant to see them performing on the international stage and I really hope that they can be part of an England team that goes all the way.”    


Read more about: 

Team Durham  

BUCS Hockey  

Under 21 Hockey World Cup