Olympic hockey bronze medallist from the 2012 games Alex Danson joined Stamford High School’s PE department and a selected group of parents for dinner in January. Alex gave an address to launch the elite mentoring programme to the parents of young women whom the PE department identified at being the top five athletes in the school. These were Sophie Skelton and Maeve Macdonald for hockey, Maddie Munro-Hall for netball, Katie Crowther for swimming and Lottie Smith for gymnastics.
The scheme, which is being piloted this term will see Alex Danson and Crista Cullen (both hockey Olympic medallists) as well as Tamsin Greenway (current England netball star) and Marilyn Okoro (Commonwealth 2014 athlete) act as mentors for top young sportswomen. They will assist the girls in managing essential aspects of their respective sports, such as nutrition, psychological management and fitness, as well as giving the girls support in managing their training programmes whilst maintaining their academic studies. Eventually, all sports scholars from year 9 and above at SHS will receive this level of support.
Lucy Hornby, head of sport at Stamford High School, said: “To have the names of some of the best sportswomen in the world backing this scheme just demonstrates how important a mentoring initiative like this can be in aspiring to top-level sport. Our girls have worked extremely hard to get to where they are in their respective sports and with the added incentive of these inspirational ladies as their mentors, they now have every possible chance to make it to the top – watch this space!”