Olympics hockey hero Danson inspires Trent students

Olympic hero Alex Danson (centre) with the girls hockey players and coaches on her visit to Trent College, Long Eaton.
Olympic hero Alex Danson (centre) with the girls hockey players and coaches on her visit to Trent College, Long Eaton.

Gold medal-winning hockey hero Alex Danson inspired Trent College’s students to believe anything is possible when she made a special visit to the Long Eaton school.

Danson, who helped the British women’s team to glory at the Olympic Games in Rio last year, spent the day coaching the school’s hockey players and speaking to pupils about her career.

The 31-year-old, whose five tournament goals made her joint top scorer in Brazil and also shortlisted her for world hockey’s women’s player of the year award, took along her historic gold medal too.

Fotr the first time in the school’s history, all three of Trent’s teams have qualified for their respective national finals, to be held at Olympic Park in London later this month. So they were delighted to benefit from Danson’s expert advice and insight as she put them through their paces on the Astroturf.

The U18s’ captain, Paige Gillott, said: “We practised deflections and goalscoring. It was so helpful to get tips and tricks from one of the best goalscorers in the world.

“Alex also gave us a talk on her journey as an athlete, stressing that hard work was more important than talent. This was really inspirational for our teams, and we felt motivated ahead of our national finals.”

Mark Wadsley, head of hockey at Trent, said: “It was incredible having Alex at the school. She spent so much time with the students and was genuinely very happy to answer any questions and provide advice in any way she could.

“I think she made them realise that they could make a career out of hockey. She was just like them at their age, but went on to become one of the world’s best through her attutude and work ethic, as well as her obvious talent.

“If you put in the time, success can be achievable, as Team GB proved at the Rio Olympics.”