Children at Barrow Hills School were delighted to meet Olympic champion hockey player Helen Richardson-Walsh MBE last week when she dropped into the school to talk about the opportunities for women in sport and her personal journey to Olympic success.
Ms Richardson-Walsh, who played a starring role in Great Britain’s Olympic gold medal triumph in Rio last year, has actually competed in four Olympics and is recognised as the youngest British woman to represent her country in hockey on the Olympic circuit.
The timely visit comes hot on the heels of Barrow Hills’ recent fantastic achievement in hockey. The Under 11 mixed hockey team reached the national finals of The Independent Association of Prep Schools hockey tournament for the first time in the school’s history – reminding children and parents that gender is never a barrier to success in sport. The under 13 team had an unbeaten season and qualified for the national finals for England hockey at the National Hockey Centre in Nottingham.
Ms Richardson-Walsh is herself a passionate advocate of the power of sport to help dispel the misguided belief that girls are are less talented than boys and has written an opinion piece on this very subject.
Commenting on the visit, Head of Girls Games at Barrow Hills, Madelon Burnett said: “The children were very excited to have the chance to meet and chat with such a legendary Olympian, especially as it was Helen who scored one of the decisive penalties in last year’s dramatic final in Rio. All of our hockey players – boys and girls – have been truly inspired by Helen’s motivating story, so watch this space for further news of the school’s success on the pitch!”