Sophy Coombes-Roberts (centre) competes for the University of Exeter Lacrosse Club and the Welsh International team.

University Lacrosse star Sophy Coombes-Roberts heads to World Championships.

University of Exeter Lacrosse Scholar Sophy Coombes-Roberts has been selected to represent Wales at the Lacrosse World Championships taking place in Ontario, Canada this July.

The 20 strong Welsh Squad are hoping to build on their 2009 World Championship performance where they finished sixth in highly competitive field in Prague. This year, the side will join 18 other national sides featuring some of the best Lacrosse players in the world as they compete from 10-20 July at the Civic Recreation Centre in Oshawa.

As a highly seeded side Wales have been placed in the top group for the early stages of the competitions and will face some challenging matches from the off including European Champions England and facing World Champions the USA.

However, Sophy is confident that the Welsh team, who have been deep in preparation for the last 12 months, are ready to bring home a strong result.

She commented: “We are seeded fifth overall which puts us in the top group where will play the USA, Australia, Canada and England, and we hope to put in our best performance yet after finishing 6th four years ago.”

“This will be my first world cup with the senior team and it is a great experience for me to get to play with such established players, with the teams average age standing at 27. The team is extremely excited as we are undoubtedly the best prepared Welsh Team to date.”

Despite having only recently having finished her first year at University Sophy, studying Philosophy Politics and Theology, is no stranger to international competition. Aged just 17 she joined the silver medal winning Welsh Team at the European Championships in 2012, taking the accolade of forth highest scorer of the whole tournament.

The Welsh Team have spent the last 12 months deep in preparation, travelling to the United States three times for training matches and holding an Easter training camp at the University of Exeter to make use of the Sports Park's excellent training facilities.

Assistant Director of Sport (Performance and Competitions), Nick Beasant explained how the University of Exeter is committed to its lacrosse programme and hopes to become a regular training ground for international teams and players.

He said: “We are always ecstatic to see our athletes compete at the top of their game and for Sophy to break into the World Championship squad at such a young age is the result of her outstanding talent and hard work.

We are pleased to have been part of Sophy’s journey and will continue to offer the support and training packages that she needs to keep her at the top of her game.

As one of our we are dedicated to creating the best possible Lacrosse programme for our students. The University of Exeter Lacrosse Club is a flourishing club that continues to grow in strength each year. We were delighted to have Wales choose as a training camp this year, and hope to build our great relationship with the squad in future and use this to create even better opportunities for our players in years to come.”

As a Sports Scholar, Sophy receives a comprehensive support package including Strength and Conditioning training, Sport Science services, physio and financial assistance to support her training and travel expenses.

She finished: “I am extremely grateful to the University who have been so supportive of my lacrosse, and the scholarship programme in particular has been a huge help in getting me to the World Cup this summer.”

Date: 25 June 2013

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