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Three Norfolk girls bring home the gold from World Cup at Madison Square Garden

PUBLISHED: 08:58 10 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:58 10 August 2018

Abbie, Holly, and Lauren, at the Dodgeball World Cup final in Madison Square Garden. Picture: Abbie Gower

Abbie, Holly, and Lauren, at the Dodgeball World Cup final in Madison Square Garden. Picture: Abbie Gower

Abbie Gower

Three women from Norfolk have made memories of a lifetime having competed in a World Cup final at Madison Square Garden, and walking away with gold medals.

Abbie Gower, Holly Edmonds, and Lauren Hems all discovered the sport of Dodgeball whilst studying at Reepham High Scool.

Now all aged 20 and at university, the trio have made the England squad and travelled to New York at the start of August, beating Austria in the World Cup finals.

Miss Gower, who is a psychology and criminology student at Nottingham Trent University, said: “It hasn’t really sunk in yet, we’re all still in a bit of a daze.

“It was amazing going out into Madison Square Gardens and seeing all of these fans who loved the sport and were cheering for us.”

The schoolmates began playing the sport aged 11, as their school’s PE teacher Katie Lake is the Dodgeball England coach.

Miss Edmonds said: “When I talk about the sport I assume people know nothing about it. I try to encourage my housemates at uni to get involved, and they now consider it a normal sport to play!”

Miss Gower added: “We’d been training so hard for the World Cup all year. There’s a lot of fitness training involved as well as working on the accuracy and strength of our throws. Tactics are also really important in the game so we spend a lot of time working on that.”

Miss Gower added: “In the final against Austria we just went out there and played our own game. We’ve played them a couple of times recently and they have a way of getting in our heads. But this time we moved forwards as a team and didn’t let them dictate the game.

“When the final whistle blew we all just looked at each other in shock, we couldn’t believe we’d actually done it.”

The girls have also all achieved academic success, with Miss Edmonds studying geology and physical geography at the University of Birminghgam, and Miss Hems studying psychology and criminal behaviour at the University of Bedfordshire.

“Sport was always going to be a part of my life,” said Miss Gower. “It’s a really good stress-buster, so there was never really a conflict between sport and study.”

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