I started playing lacrosse at school when I was 11 years old and absolutely loved it. I enjoyed the fact it was so skillful, fast and physical! I went on tour with my school in year 11 and that just ignited my passion for the game even further. At age 15 I went to my first Junior England Trials at Crystal Palace, at 17 I played in my first U18 Home Internationals in Scotland.
I continued to play at Brighton University, for Senior Midlands and trained with the Senior England Squad. I later played for the Senior South team and participated in several Senior Home Internationals for England and finished my playing career at the European Championships in Prague in 2004 where I was very proud to captain the England team.
Whilst still playing I started teaching and coaching lacrosse. Having moved to LEH I found it hard to do both and so was very happy to focus my efforts on coaching. I found I could offer a lot to this role and managed the challenge of balancing mass participation with elite performance. The first team at LEH has always had a special place in my heart. Developing the standard of lacrosse played from U12’s and up has been a fantastic opportunity but I wanted to challenge myself to an even higher level. I started by coaching the Middlesex County teams, then Junior South of England, Senior South Reserves and now here I am today with the England U19’s. The three years leading to the World Cup have passed so quickly and I have learnt and developed a great deal along the way. I have had lots of opportunities to meet different people, share experiences with them and learn from them. The tours we have done have been invaluable. I have implemented new ideas and am hoping to keep moving the sport forward positively.
Seeing the enjoyment on the faces of girls who are just having fun with our game is a source of constant reward for me. Likewise, I enjoy seeing the concentration, determination and focus of my girls trying to strive to be better and better at the sport I love and achieving their goals on the way. I have also enjoyed bringing together both players and families who, without lacrosse, would never have met and now have made some very strong friendships.
Of course then there are the successful achievements; the wins! Over the years there have been many. At school, my teams have consistently been County Champions and my first team has always been in the top eight teams in the country. I am well known for having my teams in many National Schools Lacrosse Finals (7 finals in the last 7 years across all age groups!). This year, I was particularly proud, given it is a very busy World Cup year, to have all my teams be County Champions and all of them get to the final at Nationals Schools. To cap it off, my U15’s became National Champions and my first team won the Vivien Jones Cup. Whilst I coached Middlesex and Junior South we won several of the Competitions and now comes my time with U19 England. So far so good; we have won all the Home International Competitions and competed strongly in games against Princeton, Loyola and Senior England. We had two very successful development tours to Canada and USA and finally our last tour in April with 3 wins, and 4 losses, with 2 of these by losses only by 1 goal! So now it is crunch time – The World Cup – it’s a time for personal bests from not only my girls but from the entire coaching team. We will do our country proud – ‘Our Year, Our Time, Gold Medal Standards’