We are very excited to announce former Great Britain Captain and double Olympic medallist, Kate Richardson-Walsh, and former Irish International and England U18 Coach Sarah Kelleher are joining the club as Ladies’ first XI coaches.
Kate and Sarah will take on the role together, allowing for both their breadth of expertise to put a mark on the team’s development.
Alongside her role as Ladies’ first XI coach, Kate will also get involved with growing HWHC junior section where she will coach and consult on the newly created Hampstead & Westminster Hockey Club Academy. Kate will work closely with HWHC’s Head of Youth & Development, Alex Smart, and HWHC Men’s first XI Head Coach, Kwan Browne, on the development of HWHC junior club members who are at Academy Centre and Performance Centre level on the England Hockey Player Pathway.
Richard Smith, Director of Hockey at HWHC, said: “We are delighted that Kate and Sarah will be coaching our Ladies’ first XI this season. The team has been going from strength to strength over the last few years - just missing out on promotion to the Premier League last season after clinching the East Conference title without a loss. Kate and Sarah will no doubt push our squad to the next level with their extensive experience and tactical insights.”
HWHC President, Richard Sykes, added: “It is fantastic to have Kate join our club in this double capacity. HWHC has seen great growth and professionalisation in recent years, particularly seen our junior section with tremendous expansion. We are proud of how we have developed a very successful and competitive junior club, with youngsters from the age of five to eighteen training at HWHC’s home ground at Westminster’s Paddington Recreation Ground in Central London.
Both Kate and Sarah’s vision for hockey in the country completely aligns with our club’s ambition to build talent programmes that encourage the development of junior and senior players while they enjoy everything the sport has to offer. We really look forward to Kate and Sarah putting their mark on our club’s development across all sections.”
Kate Richardson-Walsh, said: “I am excited to be working alongside ex-Irish international and ex-Slough teammate Sarah this season at HWHC. Having stepped away from the game last season I wanted to make sure when I stepped back in, it was a good fit for all parties. HWHC have a good ladies first team squad, a thriving junior section and a club that has exciting aspirations for the future. I hope we can have another successful season, taking strides forward as a collective club in all areas.”
Kate and Sarah will be joining HWHC at an exciting time, not only is the club peaking in growth and performance, the club will also be celebrating their 125th anniversary in the season of 2018 – 2019 with a wide range of activities dedicated to this milestone.
Kate Richardson-Walsh played for Great Britain between 1999 and 2016. She captained Great Britain for over 13 years of her international career, and won many achievements, most notably the Olympic gold medal at Rio 2016 following on from Olympic Bronze at London 2012. With over 370 caps, Kate is Great Britain’s most capped hockey player.
Sarah Kelleher represented Ireland for over 10 years at senior level, winning 126 caps, and captained the side. She has been involved in high performance coaching at international level for eight years and is the current England Under 18s coach. Outside of hockey Sarah works as a Brand Strategy Consultant in business.