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Kate Richardson-Walsh: More female hockey coaches needed for role models (UK)

They may be featuring in the Conference, but it was a premier start for the Richardson-Walsh name on Saturday. Helen starred with a Cambridge City hat-trick in a 5-0 rout of Southgate, while Kate started her coaching career in style, overseeing a Hampstead & Westminster win against Wimbledon, a team featuring an Olympian and two England players.

While player-coach Helen is seeing through a second season with Cambridge, Kate was still mulling over extending her playing career into this season.

There was an indoor stint with East Grinstead last season and a few forays elsewhere, but it was a prolonged chat with H&W officials which proved the ?right fit?, with the Olympic gold medal-winning captain in demand off the pitch with her business speaking engagements.

And so it is the touchline where captain Kate will be seen now, Saturday?s 3-0 home win recorded as the first act in the second part of her immense hockey career.

This season, the 38-year-old is co-coach alongside Sarah Kelleher, the former Irish International and England under-18 coach, and a player she knows well having played with her at Slough HC.

?She is an exceptional person and an interesting coach in the way she goes about it,? she said of Kelleher. ?She?s very interested in the psychology and mindset along with all the other aspects of hockey. I will learn a lot from her.?

The all-female leadership is not the norm in the Investec Women?s Conference East. In fact, of the 10 clubs, less than half have female head coaches.

?There needs to be more female coaches full stop,? said Kate before her English coaching debut. ?Internationally, there is Alyson Annan (Holland) and Janneke Schopman (USA). They are two outstanding coaches, but why only two?



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