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Former pupil unveils Commonwealth Games Golden Gateway plaque

Commonwealth Gold Medal winner and Old Ipswichian Hannah Martin returned to her old school last week to unveil a special plaque commemorating her hockey success.

Hannah, who was at Ipswich School from 1998 to 2013, was part of the England women’s hockey team who won Gold at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this summer.

The plaque unveiled by Hannah is part of the Golden Gateways initiative, which celebrates the route to success of the gold medal-winning Team England athletes. Hannah was able to choose a location relevant to her pathway to success, and picked Ipswich School as her special location.

Hannah was part of the U11 team at Ipswich Prep School who were the first girls from the Prep School to win a county hockey championship, and the plaque has been installed in the school to inspire future young athletes.

At the unveiling in the Prep, she spoke to an assembly of pupils from Years 3 to 6 about her sporting journey, from the first time she picked up a hockey stick aged 8, right up to her most recent achievements. She highlighted the importance of resilience and explained that setbacks can help you come back stronger. Hannah encouraged the pupils to stretch themselves by going outside their comfort zone, but also to think about other people and to be kind to others. 

Mrs Claire Jackson, Head of Ipswich Prep School, said: “We were thrilled that Hannah chose us to receive this special plaque – she is such an inspiration to our pupils, especially our young hockey players. They were so excited to be able to hold her Commonwealth gold and Olympic bronze medals, and we are very grateful to her for spending time with us and sharing her story.”

After unveiling the Golden Gateway plaque, Hannah signed hockey sticks for the current U11 girls team and did a short question and answer session with the 1st XI girls hockey squad from the Senior School.

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