Hockey: Olympic champion Danson inspires Rose Hill children

    STICK AT IT Alex Danson with the young players

    OLYMPIC gold medal winner Alex Danson came to Tunbridge Wells last week to coach aspiring young hockey players at Rose Hill School.

    The Team GB forward began by taking assembly for the whole school, showing footage of the team winning in Rio last summer and sharing stories about the Olympic village.

    She told them about the obstacles she had to overcome to achieve her success, and the importance of having a goal in life, persevering and never giving up.

    Then she described the emotions she had experienced during the final, the gruelling and disciplined training and the importance of teamwork.

    She said the victory over the Netherlands was particularly sweet after their disappointment at going out in the semi-finals on home turf at London 2012.

    Alex, who brandished her gold medal, maintains their success was down to a collective vision: “Be the difference. Create history. Inspire the future.”

    Alex ran a series of training sessions focusing on basic skills with Years 3 to 6 and more advanced shooting techniques with Year 8.

    The Rose Hill Year 8 keeper, Horatio Thomson, bravely stepped up to defend the goal against the formidable Danson strike.

    The Head of PE and Boys’ Games, Simon Hinchliffe, said: “This was an amazing opportunity for the pupils. To have an athlete of Alex’s stature spend the morning with us was truly a privilege.

    “Alex stressed how effort and resilience can overcome talent and ability. It was an unforgettable visit.”