Olympic hockey star to guest at Winter Games

alex_dansonHockey international Alex Danson is the special guest at the Sussex School Games Winter Finals, Lancing College, on 6 March.

The 27-year-old was joint top scorer in the London 2012 hockey side and her opening goal in the play-off against New Zealand helped Team GB to Olympic bronze. She made her international debut at just 16 and was named in the FIH World All Stars Team in 2011. Alex spoke to Active Sussex’s Andy Duck.

What do you love about your sport?

It’s fast, physical and requires a high level of skill – but most of all I love playing in a team, competing alongside my team mates.

What has been the highlight of your hockey career so far?

Standing on the podium at London 2012 was incredible and a moment I will never forget. We had worked so hard for so long to get there. It was a combination of excitement, relief and total pride to share that moment with my friends and team mates.

What’s the biggest setback you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?

I have dislocated my shoulders on a number of occasions, often close to major tournaments. Being injured is a very isolating time as you are so used to be around training with all your friends. Suddenly you are training alone and desperately trying to rehab over short time periods. The best way I have dealt with it is to plan methodically, work closely with my physio and set very clear, measurable targets.

 What one piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

I would say work as hard as humanly possible, take every opportunity and most importantly have loads of fun.

 What’s the best thing about school sport competitions like the School Games?

Multi sport events like the School Games give you the opportunity to create an incredible atmosphere, to meet other athletes and link with a range of different sports. It is the most amazing environment to be in – it gives young people a platform to perform and enjoy a fantastic day of sport.

What have you learned from being an athlete mentor to young people in schools? 

Young people are incredible and have so much to offer. I learn just as much from them as I hope they do from me! I feel exceptionally honoured to work on programmes such as Sky Sports Living for Sport and the School Games. I’ve learnt how powerful sport can be – it is cross curricular and embodies values that can improve, motivate and inspire young people.

 

Sussex School Games is supported by headline sponsor Sainsbury’s, Active Sussex Gold Tier partners Freedom Leisure and University of Chichester and local sponsors Rix & Kay LLP and Southern Water

British Paralympic Association Department for culture, media and sport Change 4 Life Lottery funded Youth Sport Trust

Part of the Sussex Legacy Initiative. Corporate partners are:

University of Chichester Freedom Leisure Rix & Kay TBCC K2 Active Sussex