North Walsham Students Flock To Take Up Hockey
The success of the Team GB women’s hockey team in winning gold at the Rio Olympics last year has seen an upsurge in interest in the game – and now students at a North Walsham school are being inspired to take up hockey following the appointment of a former England professional player as a teacher at the school.
Tim Whiteman, who made his debut for England in 2014, as well as winning back-to-back English championship titles with Nottinghamshire side Beeston, joined North Walsham High School as a humanities teacher specialising in history at the beginning of the summer term – and has wasted no time in setting up an after-school hockey club.
Girls and boys of all ages at the school are making rapid progress under Tim’s expert coaching, with plans already in hand to enter the County indoor hockey competition next year – just weeks after setting up the club at the school.
“The excitement and buzz of the Team GB women’s team winning at Rio has really raised the profile of hockey, and when I volunteered to run an after-school hockey club at NWHS, the take-up was tremendous,” said Tim, who has been appointed as men’s player coach at leading Norfolk club Harleston Magpies next season.
“Most of those taking part have never played before, but the enthusiasm is excellent. It’s a sport that girls and boys can play together, so the whole group is learning with each other – it’s a great team spirit.”
Tim previously taught at Repton School in Derbyshire, where he coached the U16s squad to win the national championships.
NWHS head of PE Paul Bradshaw said, “We are delighted to have Tim join the staff here at the school, and it is of course motivating for students to have a former international professional player coach them. It is great to be able to add hockey to the wide variety of sports we offer, both as part of the PE curriculum, and in extra-curricular activities.”
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