Richardson-Walsh to join Hampstead & Westminster coaching staff for 2018-19

Kate Richardson-Walsh was Team GB's flag bearer for the closing ceremony at the 2016 Rio Olympics af

Kate Richardson-Walsh was Team GB's flag bearer for the closing ceremony at the 2016 Rio Olympics after winning hockey gold (pic David Davies/PA) - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Hampstead & Westminster Hockey Club have announced former Great Britain captain and Olympic gold medalist Kate Richardson-Walsh and ex-Irish international Sarah Kelleher will join the club as coaches of their women’s first team.

The experienced duo will share the role, with Richardson-Walsh also coaching and consulting on the newly created academy.

Working closely with head of youth and development Alex Smart and men’s first team head coach Kwan Browne, Richardson-Walsh will help to develop juniors on the England Hockey Player Pathway.

Hampstead & Westminster’s director of hockey Richard Smith said: “We are delighted Kate and Sarah will be coaching our ladies’ first XI this season.

“The team has been going from strength to strength over the last few years, just missing out on promotion to the Premier League last season after clinching the East Conference title without a loss. Kate and Sarah will no doubt push our squad to the next level with their extensive experience and tactical insights.”

Club president Richard Sykes added: “It is fantastic to have Kate join in this double capacity. HWHC has seen great growth and professionalisation in recent years, particularly our junior section with tremendous expansion. We’re proud of how we’ve developed a very successful and competitive junior club, with youngsters from the age of five to 18 training at Paddington Rec.

“Kate and Sarah’s vision for hockey completely aligns with our ambition to build talent programmes that encourage the development of junior and senior players while they enjoy everything the sport has to offer.

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“We really look forward to Kate and Sarah putting their mark on our club’s development across all sections.”

Richardson-Walsh said: “I’m excited to be working alongside Sarah this season at HWHC. Having stepped away from the game last season I wanted to make sure when I stepped back in, it was a good fit for all parties.

“HWHC have a good ladies first team squad, thriving junior section and exciting aspirations for the future. I hope we can have another successful season, taking strides forward as a collective club in all areas.”

HWHC will also be celebrating their 125th anniversary in 2018-19 with a wide range of activities dedicated to this milestone.