Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh brought a touch of gold to AEHC on Saturday. The Team GB Rio Olympic gold medallists, who now both play for HC Bloemendall in The Netherlands, spent time coaching AEHC Juniors and students from AESG before taking part in a Q&A session and signing autographs.
Originally from the Stockport area, former GB women’s hockey Captain Kate said:
“I started following AEHC on Twitter after the Olympics as I could see how much amazing work was being done here and how many great Juniors the club has. Helen and I get to do lots of different things but, in the end, it’s all about the hockey family and coming back to clubs like this is the thing we hold most dear.”
“Clubs like AEHC are the bedrock of the game,” added Helen. “I started my hockey career at my local club when I was seven and learnt important lessons about loyalty, respect and teamwork, as well as having fantastic fun and forging lifelong friendships - being able to give something back at this stage in my career is amazing.”
All the AESG and AEHC children who attended ‘GoldFest’ enjoyed group training sessions on the pitch before Kate and Helen took questions from them and provided some insight into the own journeys to the top of their sport.
“The girls have been so excited about this,” commented AESG Head of PE Lynda McConville “and what great role models Kate and Helen are. Their being here really gives the girls something to aspire to.”
Young AEHC player, 11-year-old Theo Hunt, was equally inspired:
“I came along as I wanted to learn some new skills and I’ve had a great time,” he said. “I want to be a hockey player when I grow up.”
Special thanks must go to Kelvin Briggs for organising the event and sponsors Physiofit, Wienholt Bakery and Gleave Homes.