Sports Alumni Series: Amelia Hatlapa

Next in our Sports Alumni series, we are pleased to share the story of Amelia Hatlapa, who left St Margaret's in 2012.  Read what she had to say here. 

I left St Margaret’s in 2012 and went to St Mary’s Calne where I began playing lacrosse.  At the age of 14 I was selected to join the u19 England Lacrosse squad where I represented England in several Home Internationals and amazing tours to America and Canada.  As part of the St. Mary’s 1st team I enjoyed playing at National Schools tournaments and becoming Captain and Head of Sport in my final year of school.
Whilst at Exeter University I played for the 1st Team for all three years and was selected for the England u23 lacrosse squad.  Now that I have graduated and am working in London, the sports that I experienced from the age of 3 at St Margaret’s are still a very important part of my life.

  1. What are your stand-out memories of St Margaret’s? 
I was 3 years old when I joined St Margaret’s Kindergarten.  I grew up taking part in everything; the plays, the choir, but the stand-out for me was always the sport and I loved the opportunities to learn and play so many.
  1. Which staff members do you remember and what impact did they have on you?
Mrs Banks was my first sports teacher and the foundations she instilled in me have shaped my attitude towards sport throughout school and into adulthood.  When Mrs White joined the staff she pushed us all to our best across each sport from netball and hockey to rounders, tennis and swimming.  Being a keen member of all these sports with Mrs White, developed my resilience and made me into a better athlete for the sports I learnt and continued at St Mary’s and Exeter University.  Mrs Banks returned briefly before I left in year six and had a great impact on my confidence because she believed in what I could achieve in my sport.
  1. What did you enjoy most about your time at St Margaret’s?
I loved always being surrounded by my friends and my friendships grew stronger through being in sports teams with them.  I have very fond memories of our school trips and away matches which were always great fun.
  1. What advice would you give our pupils who would like to pursue a passion in a sport?
Play as many different sports as you can, the skills you will learn across each one will be of great value to you in whichever sport becomes your passion and the one you choose to pursue.  Secondly write things down… if you were proud of something you did, make a note of it. If you were given feedback (good or bad) write it down, that way you will continue to learn from it.
  1. We talk to our pupils about ‘Inspiring Excellence’- giving their best shot, learning from their mistakes and not being afraid to take a risk. How does this relate to you/your story playing Lacrosse?
I learnt to be OK with making mistakes as they are what help you improve the most.  Being friends with your mistakes, rather than fearing them, is when they will have the greatest positive effect on you as a person and your sporting abilities.  Without this fear you can take risks which is what makes you really stand out as an athlete.  The lacrosse games I look back on and wish I could repeat are the ones where I was confident and took risks because that made me perform at my best.  Whether I made a mistake, or my risk paid off, I absolutely never regretted taking the risk.