Loughborough praised for producing two Great Britain hockey coaches
13 July 2012
The kitting-out process at Team GB's Loughborough Preparation Camp last week marked a notable hockey double for Loughborough University.
For the coaches of both the men’s and women’s teams are Loughborough University graduates in PE and Sports Science and have taken their respective teams up the world rankings to fourth and with a realistic chance of a medal at the London 2012 Olympics.
Jason Lee, the men’s coach, has been at the helm for nine years and the London 2012 Olympics will be his fifth, his third as coach.
Danny Kerry took his first steps into coaching as captain of Loughborough Students’ men’s first X1, became England’s head coach in 2004 and led Great Britain to sixth place in the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
In February, the women won the silver medal in the Champions Trophy, their best result at world level, losing 1-0 to world champions Argentina in Rosario. Last month they avenged that defeat in the Olympic Test event.
The success of Jason and Danny at all levels, and especially with England and Great Britain, is a huge testament to Loughborough University where the foundations were laid.
Jason, speaking after the kitting-out day when seven of the 16-strong men’s team had links to Loughborough, says it is no coincidence that both men’s and women’s coaches are from Loughborough.
Jason, 42, said: “Danny and I have had strangely mirrored careers. We both played England 18s together and he was in my year on the Sports Science course.
“We did divert a bit then. He went to Warwick and then Brunel after he graduated and I stayed at Loughborough.
“It just reflects that Loughborough gives a great depth of sporting experience.
“And the multi-sport environment that is Loughborough is kind of unique, so you get to learn more about sport in a wider way than almost anywhere else I’m aware of in the UK.
“Danny and I, though, are very different. It was almost his calling to be a hockey coach, I just find it quite interesting.”
Jason spent 14 years at Loughborough and said he emerged a better person for his time here.
He said: “I changed a lot in my 14 years at Loughborough and I am thankful for the opportunities they gave me.
“I often say that one of the things about Loughborough is that they believe in the potential of people.
“I was a long way from a model student when I started but I came out as quite a rounded person in a sporting environment.
“It was a great time. I lived here as well as studied and bought a house. I joked with the players the other day, saying ‘can you feel my presence here?’ because I was involved in so much hockey stuff.
“I opened the hockey pavilion with Mary Neville and I chose the hockey pitch we put down some years ago. I spent a lot of time here.”