England Hockey name Norwich youngster Tom Ling as their 2017 ‘Rising Star’

England Hockey has recognised Norwich Hockey Club's Tom Ling as their 'Rising Star' for 2017. Pictur

England Hockey has recognised Norwich Hockey Club's Tom Ling as their 'Rising Star' for 2017. Picture: Photo by Matthew Lewis/England Hockey - Credit: Matthew Lewis for England Hockey

Norwich club member Tom Ling has been named as England Hockey's 2017 'Rising Star' in an annual award that recognises outstanding contribution to the sport by young people.

The sixth former, from Wymondham High Academy, received the award at an England Hockey black-tie ceremony in Leicester.

'Tom is an amazing club person at the mere age of 17,' said Matthew Brine, men's club captain at Norwich City Hockey Club.

'He is incredibly mature for his years taking on big roles at the club, not something you would expect of a junior member of any organisation.

'But not only has he taken on these roles, but has performed them extremely well.

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'His commitment to hockey is inspirational, not just playing and training, but the fact that he is also keen to be involved in a number of administration, umpiring and social roles.'

'Lingy', as he is known at the club, has worked as umpire liaison officer organising 16 and sometimes more umpires each weekend. 'For a big club like ours with seven men's and seven women's teams, plus junior and age-group cup teams, mixed and social sides, this is an immense task,' added Brine.

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'He has had to liaise with senior members of other clubs by phone and email but this never fazed him and he did this independently and very successfully.'

Ling, who is set to captain Norwich City's third XI next season, said he was shocked and delighted to receive the award.

'I didn't even know I had been nominated until I received notification that I had been shortlisted. It's a real honour,' he said. 'I like being organised and helpful. I really enjoy it and it helps the club too.'

In its statement about the award England Hockey pointed out that Ling had also proved to be a great ambassador to the junior section of Norwich City HC, encouraging and helping young umpires through the ranks.

'Tom also organises midweek social events on a regular basis throughout the season, he also ensures all members are kept up to date of news, organises fund raisers and social events, and encourages the use of social media,' said England Hockey.

Ling first started playing hockey when he was about 13, a first timer to hockey and joined Norwich City Hockey Club in their minis section.

He qualified as an umpire at the age of 15 and went on to officiate in league, then eventually county and regional tournaments.

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