2022 Shaping Up to be Exciting Year for Hockey Star & FP Amy Costello

Posted on 23rd Mar 2022 in The Mary Erskine School, Former Pupil, Sport

Amy Costello Team GB

In mid-February the Great Britain women’s hockey training squad was confirmed for 2022 and Amy Costello, a former pupil at The Mary Erskine School, was named in it.

It means that this year is going to be another exciting one for the 24-year-old defender who discovered her passion for hockey when she was in the Junior School.

The GB women’s squad will train alongside the men’s squad at Bisham Abbey for the majority of the calendar year and indeed Amy scored a goal in one of three training matches at that venue, in a 2-1 series victory over Ireland earlier in March.

She is also likely to play a key part in the Scotland squad that travels to Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games in July and August, having already played for her country at the Gold Coast.

So, a busy time for Amy, but she would not have it any other way!

Amy joined ESMS in the Junior School and was a pupil right until the end of S6:

“I took up hockey around P4 and started to play for the school and for CALA [Edinburgh Hockey Club],” she explains.

“Then I made it into the East under-16 regional set-up, followed by the Scotland under-16 programme.

“When I started, I was a central midfielder - I liked to be on the ball a lot! - and then when I was around 15 or 16, I moved back into the defence and that has been my position ever since.”

Going into the Scotland under-16 squad aged just 14 with girls who were older and had already been in that programme for a year, could have been quite daunting, but the coaching that Amy had received at school and at club level stood her in good stead.

“It was a bit of a shock at the first training session, but I have always thrived in challenging myself and pushing myself,” she explains.

“We used to have once a month camps and on Wednesdays after school we would meet up in our regions and work with coaches.

“The school were helpful at balancing those commitments with my schoolwork and a number of staff also helped me balance things as I went from that into the Scotland under-18 squad.

“I also managed to make my debut for the full Scotland team in February 2016 when I was in my final year at school. As someone who had only just turned 18 it was a massive moment and a bit surreal!

“Then in May 2016 I was part of a GB Under-23 Futures competition and I was asked after that to go to trials for the full GB set-up between September and December of that year.

“That meant that I was leaving school at the same point that my hockey began to really take off but the school’s sporting environment really helped me get used to moving up the different levels quite quickly.”

Birmingham University was the next stop for Amy to study Sports Science and, as she mentioned, in the early months of her degree she was trialling for the full GB set-up.

Whilst trialling she played for the university hockey club and a place in the full GB set-up was secured that December.

“It was pretty mad really, I was a few months out of school and suddenly I was training with some of the Great Britain squad who had won gold at the Rio 2016 Olympics,” Amy explains.

“Lily Owsley from that squad played at my club and she was a great role model and as I started working with more of the GB squad, I just tried to learn as much from them as I could, especially around work ethic and balancing hockey with other commitments.

“My Great Britain debut came in Argentina in February 2018 and then, later that year, I had the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Scotland with Australia.

“It was an amazing experience with some of my best friends and it is quite unbelievable to think that we are now just a few months away from the 2022 Commonwealth Games.”

In 2021, Amy was named a reserve for the Great Britain squad that went to the Tokyo Olympics. Amy did not get to play in Japan so she did not pick up a bronze medal, but she is a medallist in our eyes. Describing the experience she said: 

“It was tough at first not being in the playing 16, but then I got my head around it and supported the squad as well as I could.

“I was just 23 at the time and when I took a step back on my return home, I realised that I’d been at an Olympics which not many people have done. Not getting on the pitch also spurred me on to aim for Paris 2024.

“Since the Tokyo trip I have played some club hockey in Hamburg, Germany, and that took me out my comfort zone and was brilliant.”

As well as her hockey commitments Amy has continued her degree at Birmingham University on a part-time basis. Like so many ESMS alumni she continues to embrace the full breadth of opportunities available to her.

“I am now living in Edinburgh with my parents, studying remotely and working hard with the Scotland squad, we are very focused to do well at the Commonwealth Games.”

Everyone at ESMS is rooting for you Amy and we can't wait to see what you will acheive next.  


By Gary Heatly

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