European medal delight for Heckmondwike's GB twins
HECKMONDWIKE Twins Emma and Thomas Pitchforth helped Great Britain's elite teams return from the European Underwater Hockey Championships with medals.
The pair train at Batley Sports Centre and were selected for the Elite (open age) GB teams attending the European Championships in Eger, Hungary, just a month after competing at the World Age Group Championships, in Tasmania.
To be selected for the teams at the age of 19 was a fantastic achievement for the twins, who were the youngest members of their respective GB squads.
Emma, as youngest female, carried the flag in the opening ceremony.
Great Britain came up against representatives from France, Netherlands, Hungary, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Turkey, Serbia and Poland.
The GB men’s team was a dominating force and they did not lose a game in the round robin and were seeded second with Turkey after a 1-1 draw.
Great Britain suffered a 5-3 defeat to Turkey in the final and returned with a silver medal.
The ladies team also had impressive results in the round robin stages losing only to Spain and France.
They met France in the semi-final but unfortunately lost 2-1 to the eventual gold medal winners.
In the bronze medal play-off GB were victorious winning 6-2, when Emma scored a vital goal just after half-time.
Tom and Emma attended Heckmondwike and Batley Grammar Schools respectively and are now studying at university, where Tom is studying civil engineering at Manchester and Emma reads TV and radio studies at Salford.
Underwater hockey sessions are held each Sunday (5pm) at Batley Sports Centre.