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England hockey stars coach youngsters

Published by Oakham School on Monday 15th of September 2014

Three members of the England & GB Senior Women's Hockey squad, who recently won silver medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, visited Oakham School to run a hockey coaching session.

Ellie Watton, Maddie Hinch and Lily Owsley were the special guests at Oakham School's under-11 girls hockey coaching session, which was run by hockey coaching company MT13, along with Oakham Sports staff. This was a particularly significant visit for Ellie, who is a former teacher at Oakham, having recently made the transition to playing hockey full time.

Over 160 girls from Brooke Priory School, Witham Hall, Copthill School, Spratton Hall, Orwell Park School, and Stoneygate School joined the young Oakham hockey players to enjoy an afternoon of expert training and matches.

As a goalkeeper, Maddie Hinch was able to give specialist advice to the aspiring goalkeepers at the session, coaching them first on defensive positions and then sending them out to play in matches, putting what they had learnt into practice.

The rest of the girls were split into groups and rotated around various different training activities, including exercises led by forwards Ellie and Lily. After over an hour of intensive coaching, the girls went into competitive matches to test their skills.

To round off the day, awards were given to the winning team, as well as individuals who had performed impressively. The prizes were presented to pupils by Ellie, Maddie and Lily, who offered their congratulations and encouragement. All of the girls also had the opportunity to have their t-shirts and hockey sticks signed by the international players.

"This was an excellent way for all of the girls to start the season," said Director of Sport Iain Simpson. "Having the opportunity to spend time with international players not only gives them new skills, but also the chance to meet strong role models for their sport. We are always delighted to welcome high level players to Oakham to coach our pupils, but it was particularly good to welcome back Ellie, and to see her Commonwealth Games medals."
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