Hockey development on the increase in the County

Wendy Russell coaching
Wendy Russell coaching

Last month Ms Wendy Russell, Steyning Grammar School, Physical Education Teacher won the Argus Achievement Award for her contribution to Sussex Sport.

Wendy was nominated by a number of people, some from her hockey Brighton & Hove Hockey Club where she coaches. At her club she is the Junior Hockey Development Officer as well as the Director of Hockey Coaches. Within these roles Wendy has helped increase the numbers of juniors taking part in the game, which has grown from 40 in 2012 to over 200 in the last year. This incredible rise in participation has been achieved by working hard with not only local schools & colleges but by also running tournaments for all ages as well as young hockey leader’s awards.

As Director of Coaches, Wendy has increased the number of qualified club coaches from 5 to 15 in the last year at her club. On top of this she coaches all age ranges from the under 6’s to ladies over 50’s and everything in between as well as being a regional hockey coach.

She has also worked with both the County Sports Partnership and City Sports Council to help promote the sport to not only those that live in the area, but those that live in other parts of Sussex.

Wendy Russell said “I was overwhelmed to have won this award as I didn’t expect to win as I just do what I love and enjoy. Winning the award has made me very proud of the people I coach and work with to help achieve some great development in hockey across Sussex.”

Wendy is pictured here training the students at the Steyning Grammar School at the after school Hockey Club. This is a regular session for all ages that undertake hockey training as well as compete in both league matches and friendlies.

As a PE teacher Wendy also ran a number of development training courses last year in Angmering and Brighton for students to lead and officiate and she has also runs workshop for Primary school NQT’s (Newly Qualified Teacher) and teachers, to help them understand the fundamentals of hockey and also how they can teach it in there own schools.

“When I am not busy on a hockey pitch training twice a week, I also work for Active Sussex the County Sports Partnership where I am a Coach Support Officer. This role involves me going to Sport England Sportivate funded projects around the county and mentoring the coaches. I help develop and support the coaches and the schemes. Active Sussex have also approached me to be ambassador for a project called “Project 500”, this is being run across seven other counties to get more women involved in coaching and other roles within sport management.” Wendy Russell explains.

In 2012 Wendy was nominated for Brighton and Hove City Coach of the year and came runner up, she also won the award for Sussex Coach of the year and through this has been the guest speaker at a number of Sussex sports events.

In the next few months she hopes to run a project to get people with hearing difficulties involved in playing hockey. She will also be working with Blatchington Mill (where are hockey pitches are based) & Sussex Hockey to get more local state schools playing hockey.

Wendy Russell said “I will keep doing what I love and watch other people develop not only hockey skills, but also a love of sport”.

Report and picture contributed by Steyning Grammar School.