We’re gunning for gold, says Loughborough hockey star
12 July 2012
Loughborough University’s Laura Unsworth says coach Danny Kerry has given the GB women’s hockey team the belief to win the gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics.
Kerry, a Loughborough University graduate whose first steps into coaching were as the captain of the Loughborough Students Men's 1st XI, has steered the GB team to fourth in the world rankings behind the Netherlands, Argentina and Germany and with a genuine chance of a medal.
And Laura, who is doing a degree in Accounting and Financial Management, says Kerry has been key to their progress in recent years which led to their appearance in the Champions Trophy final in February
Great Britain lost 1-0 to Argentina in Rosario but they believe that a home crowd will boost their chances of winning gold.
Laura is one of three Loughborough players in the GB team who went through kitting out at the Team GB Loughborough Preparation Camp this week, the others being university graduate Hannah McLeod and Nicola White, a graduate of Loughborough College.
She said: “In 2009 we all came together and made the decision as a team to centralise down at Bisham Abbey with Danny in charge.
“He has prepared us for the Olympics and we are as prepared as we have ever been.
“He has given us the belief that we can win medals in world competitions. To instil that belief in every single one of us is a great achievement for a coach.
“We are going to London to win that gold medal and I am not just saying that. We have experience in world competitions.
“In February in the Champions Trophy in Argentina, with the world’s top eight teams, we got to the final and got a silver medal. Things are looking very good for us.”
Great Britain are in Pool A alongside the Netherlands, China, Japan and Belgium.
Their first match is against Japan. “We played them in the Champions Trophy and beat them, but we have to play well in all our matches,” said Laura.
Laura says the changes at Loughborough introduced by women’s hockey coach Jerome Goudie helped the Loughborough trio.
Laura, who was at the university at the same time as Nicola, said: “When I joined it was like a hockey club and you trained twice a week and had matches at the weekend.
“But they brought in Jerome and we trained every day and it put us in good stead for the GB programme, which is similar.”
Laura says kitting out day was amazing, adding: “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. There’s racks and racks of kit which you have to try on.
“The Olympics are only days away now so it’s pretty exciting and we can’t wait to get out there and play our first match.”