Visit of Olympic gold medallist Helen Richardson-Walsh will inspire Newmarket Hockey Club's youngsters says club chairman
Alex Andreou hopes Helen Richardson-Walsh’s recent visit to the club will help inspire Newmarket Hockey Club’s younger players, writes Alex Moss.
The England international, who won gold with Great Britain at the 2016 Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, was a special guest at the club and ran a session for players aged from six up to 16.
The club’s chairman, Andreou, says he would love to put on more sessions like it in the future, with the aim to attract more youngsters from the town to pick up the sport.
“Our club secretary, Peter Booth, who is one of the lead coaches for the juniors, got in contact with her about coming to the club, as part of the Olympic Legacy plan,” Andreou said.
“Helen came down and ran a session for us, as part of England Hockey’s legacy following the London Olympics in 2012, with the aim of inspiring the next generation.
“It was brilliant. Everyone really enjoyed it and Helen was very helpful, giving out some hints and tips and talking about her journey to get to where she is now.
“She talked about the journey to get to playing at the Olympics, winning the gold medal with the ladies in 2016 and the dedication she has had to get there.
“It was a really good session and inspiring for the children. We’d love to do another one for some of the older children at the club, and see if they can get more out of it as well.
“We’ve got an ex-Pakistani international who has been coaching the men’s and ladies’ teams for the last two or three years, and now having an Olympic gold medallist come and visit, it’s all good for the club.
“It shows what we can offer to Newmarket and the surrounding area.”
Richardson-Walsh, 37, now plays for Cambridge City in the Investec Women’s League Conference East, where she combines a playing role with being an assistant coach at the club.