Big national successes for Cranleigh coaches

Cranleigh Prep's Zoe Burrell and Laura Dowsett
Cranleigh Prep's Zoe Burrell and Laura Dowsett

There’s been great excitement at Cranleigh Prep with some very impressed pupils now in awe of two of their recently televised sporting celebrity teachers, Zoe Burrell and Laura Dowsett.

Burrell represented the winning East Grinstead ladies’ hockey team at the national indoor finals at Wembley SSE Arena on Sunday.

While Dowsett, who has played for the Saracens women’s rugby team for the last two years, competed at the Premiership final which was held at Twickenham Stoop on January 17.

In the hockey, it was East Grinstead’s ladies first ever national indoor crown and Burrell set up the first goal as her team went on to beat Canterbury 3-1.

They have now qualified to play in the European League. It is Burrell’s third year playing for East Grinstead, where she trains twice a week, along with Olivia Camsey and Emily Thorpe, who are both in their final year at Cranleigh School.

Director of 7-18 hockey at Cranleigh School, Richard Organ, was also celebrating at Wembley as he coaches the East Grinstead men’s team, who won the nationals for the eighth consecutive year.

In addition to being a Form 2 tutor and teacher at Cranleigh Prep and coaching the under-nine teams, Burrell is also an Old Cranleighan herself.

She has played hockey since the age of 13 and was in the first team while at Cranleigh, then represented the Trojans in the under-18 national indoor finals.

Sport coach and teaching assistant Dowsett is in the Saracens team, who have been at the forefront of the women’s game for over 20 years.

The side were fighting to hold onto the Premiership title earlier this month, having also won the cup last year.

But, unfortunately, they suffered a 28-17 loss to Richmond.

Having played rugby since the age of ten, Dowsett was the only girl in the whole school who represented the boys’ team.

She captained the under-13 rugby team at the British School of Brussels and continued playing with boys up until she was 15.

She then became captain of the first girls’ rugby at Loughborough University, before joining the Saracens in 2014, inspired by her father who also played for them.

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