Olympic gold medallist greeted by excited youngsters on visit to Hitchin

Olympic gold medallist Alex Dawson leads a masterclass at Blueharts Hockey Club.

Olympic gold medallist Alex Dawson leads a masterclass at Blueharts Hockey Club. - Credit: BLUEHARTS HOCKEY CLUB

A gold medal Olympian dropped in to Hitchin to pass on their knowledge to some excited children.

Alex Danson (kneeling, centre) and the GB team celebrate with their Olympic gold medals at Rio 2016

Alex Danson (kneeling, centre) and the GB team celebrate with their Olympic gold medals at Rio 2016. - Credit: OWEN HUMPHREYS/PA

Alex Danson took the top prize at the Rio Olympics in 2016 as part of the successful GB women's squad and she chose to launch the first of her national 2021 masterclass series at Lucas Lane, home of Blueharts Hockey Club

Over 50 children enjoyed a day of elite hockey coaching, learning new skills to take back to their clubs and schools.

Olympic gold medallist Alex Dawson leads a masterclass at Blueharts Hockey Club.

Olympic gold medallist Alex Dawson leads a masterclass at Blueharts Hockey Club. - Credit: BLUEHARTS HOCKEY CLUB

Alongside the prolific goal scorer and Olympic Champion, Danson was joined on pitch by international stars Barry Middleton, GB and England’s most-capped hockey player, and Catherine Ledesma, a former England U18 captain and hopeful for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

All three shared their knowledge, skills and experience throughout the day.

Olympic gold medallist Alex Dawson leads a masterclass at Blueharts Hockey Club.

Olympic gold medallist Alex Dawson leads a masterclass at Blueharts Hockey Club. - Credit: BLUEHARTS HOCKEY CLUB

As well as the unique opportunity to train with some of the biggest stars of the game, the youngsters heard more about Alex’s journey with the women’s GB team in their successful Rio 2016 campaign, resulting in the historic gold.

The masterclass, developed as a partnership between Danson, who played over 300 games for England GB before retiring in 2020, and Everyone Active, is aimed at 11-18 year olds around the country who are looking to improve their hockey.

Olympic gold medallist Alex Dawson leads a masterclass at Blueharts Hockey Club.

Olympic gold medallist Alex Dawson leads a masterclass at Blueharts Hockey Club. - Credit: BLUEHARTS HOCKEY CLUB

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The team now travel to Manchester and Bowden Hockey Club with final sessions in Norfolk, London and Wiltshire.

Kate Sherwood, chairwoman of Blueharts Hockey Club, said: "This was an incredible moment for some of our young hockey players, to spend time on the pitch practicing and learning new skills with some of the biggest names and greatest talent in the game.

Olympic gold medallist Alex Dawson leads a masterclass at Blueharts Hockey Club.

Olympic gold medallist Alex Dawson leads a masterclass at Blueharts Hockey Club. - Credit: BLUEHARTS HOCKEY CLUB

"We were delighted to host the Alex Danson masterclass at Blueharts and hope that the session,  and the chance to hold a gold medal, might inspire a future Olympian from our region.

"Our thanks to Alex and the masterclass team for a fantastic session and to our Blueharts coaches and all the enthusiastic players who joined us on the day”.

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