Dogged Franklin earns a GB call-up

Elizabeth Hayward and Carol Waite with Michelle Franklin, centre and Ice the Akita. Picture submitted
Elizabeth Hayward and Carol Waite with Michelle Franklin, centre and Ice the Akita. Picture submitted

Tails are wagging at Dogs Trust Kenilworth after one of their canine carers was selected to play for Team GB’s women’s team.

Michelle Franklin flies out tomorrow (Wednesday) to South Korea ahead of the IIHF World Championships where she will make her debut in the national squad.

Franklin, 30, spends her days walking, feeding, training and grooming the homeless hounds at the Honiley-based rehoming centre, something she finds incredibly rewarding.

But her other passion is ice hockey, a sport she has been playing for 21 years, and in her spare time she is the goalkeeper for the Solihull Vixens.

She said it was “a dream come true” when she got the call to say she had been scouted to play for the national team and cannot wait to fly out to meet the rest of the team in South Korea.

Franklin said: “When I was really little I remember watching ice hockey on TV, but my parents weren’t keen on me playing because they thought it was too brutal.

“But I finally got my first proper pair of ice skates aged nine and I’ve been playing ever since.

“I’m over the moon to have been selected for Team GB, I still can’t quite believe it. We’re a really strong squad and I just hope all the training and hard work pays off and we come back with the gold medal.”

Great Britain will come up against hosts South Korea, as well as Australia, Netherlands, Slovenia and North Korea in the tournament from April 2 -8.

n Dogs Trust Kenilworth rehomes more than 1,000 dogs each year. If you are interested in rehoming a dog, call the rehoming centre on 0300 303 0292.