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Ed Pickerin, of Samuel Ward Academy, selected for first-ever Team GB dodgeball squad

Samuel Ward Academy’s Ed Pickerin is again set to break new ground in the world of dodgeball, having been selected for the first-ever Team GB squad.

Pickerin was part of the England Dodgeball squad that won the inaugural World Cup in Manchester in 2016
Pickerin was part of the England Dodgeball squad that won the inaugural World Cup in Manchester in 2016

The 27-year-old PE teacher has been at the forefront of the England team and was part of the national team to win the inaugural World Cup in 2016 in Manchester. And he is now set to return to the city to contest the first ever Atlantic Cup, on April 20.

Pickerin, who is chairman of the Men’s Super League team, East Anglian Vikings, said he is delighted to have made the squad.

“It’s exciting to be part of the first ever GB squad,” the Clare-based teacher said. “There’s an element of being used to it now; I have been involved in the international scene for a few years, but it’s still fantastic.

“I’ve been coming back from a disappointing period (Pickerin was not selected for last year’s World Cup as he recovered from injury) and it does make it all the more sweet to be a part of it all again.

“It’s difficult to predict how it’s going to go, but the England team are very strong, so I think the GB squad are just going to be even stronger.”

The Atlantic Cup, which will be held at Platt Lane Sports Complex in Manchester, will be contested between Great Britain, Austria, Canada and Team USA.

But, Pickerin explained, it will have a different format from previous international tournaments, with the two styles of dodgeball – and types of ball used – coming head to head for the first time.

Pickerin said there will be a round-robin format competition whereby all four teams will compete with both the European style, which uses a cloth-ball, and the American style, which uses a foam-ball.

“Great Britain are taking two teams,” he said. “But I think the others are using one team across both games.

“There are four of us from the East Anglian Vikings (based in Newmarket) that have been selected and we will all be in the foam-ball squad, so we are training separately to the cloth-ball squad even.

“It’s interesting and fun to be learning this new style, but it’s a big change to what we’re used to – the way you throw, and everything is different – so I guess the tournament winners are going to be whoever can adapt best to the ‘other’.

“But we always go in with high expectations, particularly as an England team member.”

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