STUDENTS capped a brilliant year by earning call-ups for their country.

Jack Hawkins and Seren Cashen were both picked to play for Wales in 2023 and received their caps over the festive period.

Jack, a Level 3 Sports learner, was selected by the Welsh Colleges Cricket Team, while Seren – currently studying a BTEC Level 3 in Sports – represented the Welsh Colleges Women’s Football Squad.

Cambria’s reigning Elite Sports Student of the Year, she was a key figure when Wales played in a tournament in Rome last Spring, where they faced Italy U21s select XI, a regional side, England Colleges and teams from Greece and Canada.

A midfielder with Wrexham AFC’s Women’s Under-19s, Seren added: “I’m honoured to gain a Welsh cap as it’s a goal I’ve been working towards for a long time.

“It was a memorable experience, I got to play with high-level players in a completely different environment than I’m used to and experienced how football is played in different countries, which helped me to improve massively.

“It was also an overall experience I will never forget from exploring Rome to playing against countries like Italy and England.

“It helped me grow in confidence a lot as a footballer, especially as I started two out of the three games we played during the week we were there.”

Jack admits he was bowled over to receive his call up and hopes to represent his country again in the future.

“It feels right that I have earned my cap because I put in the work to be able to get there and achieve what was a very big dream of mine,” he said.

“The experience was really good and being able to train in the same facilities and see Sophia Gardens (a 16,000-seater international stadium and home to Glamorgan County Cricket Club) the way that the international stars of the game do was amazing.

“Being able to go around and play in some of the best grounds in South Wales was a surreal experience and I cannot wait till I next get the chance to represent my nation.”

Sports lecturer Danielle Coxey congratulated them on their achievements, adding: “We are very proud of Seren and Jack for receiving their caps, they have both worked so hard to achieve these.

“Traveling away for trials and training sessions throughout the year and continuing to achieve with their academic studies also – well done to you both!”

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