Big in America! Ex-High pupil is enjoying celebrity status playing hockey in the US

Lauren Thomas (pictured centre with her gumshield in) is loving life in the US
Lauren Thomas (pictured centre with her gumshield in) is loving life in the US

A former Aylesbury High School pupil is ‘living the dream’ and becoming something of a celebrity across the pond by playing hockey for the University of Michigan.

Lauren Thomas, who left the High last year, has recently taken up a full hockey scholarship in the States and is quickly learning to deal with the celebrity status playing university sport in America entails.

The scholarship is allowing her to play the sport she loves while also studying for a degree in art and design.

But despite her new-found fame, Lauren has not forgotten her roots and has been writing to her former teacher at the High, head of PE, Ali Arber.

In the letters Lauren thanked her teacher for convincing her to apply for the scholarship.

She also described her gruelling pre-season training regime up and down the sand dunes at Lake Michigan.

The team regularly has more than 300 spectators at their games and she has already travelled to a number of different states to play matches.

“It’s a different world for sport here, especially university sport!,” Lauren said.

“People just stop us on the street or in the airport and ask to take a photo with them!”

Just last weekend, Lauren’s Michigan University team played against the Michigan State side in a televised ‘stick it to cancer’ game where they wore pink.

The next day they were honoured at a football game in front of more than 121,000 fans.

During her time at the High, Lauren played for England at U16 and U18 level and was starting to trial for the Under 21 side.

She added: “Although coming to America has put my England hockey career on hold, the provisions and facilities that we get here will help me to develop as a player.

“I hope to make it back in to the England squads when I return after my degree.”