Olympic trio to make the town proud

By Chris Willmott Thursday 02 August 2012 Updated: 22/08 16:40

On the Olympic scoresheet - hockey player Sally Walton. (s)

IT HAS BEEN a week of mixed emotions for Solihull's Team GB athletes at the Olympics.

The borough is being represented by three stars at the Games - hockey player Sally Walton and water polo players Jake Vincent and Rosie Morris.

And while the water polo teams are yet to taste victory, Sally and the Team GB hockey team are sitting pretty at the top of their league, having beaten Japan 4-0 and Korea 5-3 - with Sally scoring in the win against Japan.

The former Aston Villa Ladies player, a tutor at Solihull College, made her international debut in 2005 and has gone on to earn over 100 caps for England and Great Britain.

And her performances at the Olympics have so far been outstanding.

The 31-year-old tweeted her delight after the opening game: "Great to get first game and win under the belt. 4 goals, clean sheet and bagged a goal. Happy days #teamgb The crowd were fantastic. #proud."

And after the team's nailbiter against Korea she added: "Wow what a game. Another 3 points. Good team spirit shown and onto Belgium.

"Again great support from crowd today- u were awesome #love."

Sally will be taking to the pitch tonight (Thursday) against Belgium at 7pm.

Brenda Sheils, Principal of Solihull College, paid tribute to the Team GB star: “We are extremely proud that Sally is representing Team GB in the Women’s Hockey and we wish her and the team every success.

"To have one of our Sport lecturers competing at such a high level is fantastic - she is a real inspiration to the younger generation.”

Also on the hunt for Olympic glory are 23-year-old Jake Vincent and 26-year-old Rosie Morris - both members of Solihull Swimming Club where they learned to play water polo.

Former Solihull School pupil Jake has been a regular member of the GB first team for the past four years.

Having played national league seasons in Australia, Romania and Germany, he currently plays semi-professionally for SV Bayer Uerdingen near Dusseldorf in Germany.

His proud mum Carol-Anne Vincent told The Observer: “We are delighted with Jake's success.

“The support for water polo from the 5,000-strong audience at the Olympics is absolutely crazy.

"As one of the best forms of exercise, the hope is that the Games will inspire people of all ages and ability to play and enjoy it.”

Speaking ahead of the games Jake was in positive spirits.

He said: : "We have worked very hard in the past few years to bridge the gap and we go into the Games looking to be as competitive as possible.

"We have been making great progress and are getting much closer to the top teams in the world."

Rosie Morris and her women's water polo team opened their Olympic Games with a narrow 7-6 defeat to a heavily fancied Russian team - and she was quick to praise the fantastic support of the fans.

The Silhillian, who has become a stalwart of the British squad since breaking into the senior international team in 2004, said: "Thanks so much for everyone for such amazing support.

"Absolutely gutted to have lost such a close game, but onwards and upwards."

But they suffered defeat in their second match yesterday (Wednesday) going down 16-3 to Australia.

After the match Rosie said: "Poor, poor performance from both me and the team tonight. No excuses, we just didn't play well enough. Thanks for all the fab support though."

A delighted Jake at the opening ceremony. (s)

Rosie Morris in action in the pool for Team GB. (s)

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