David Ames, vice-captain of England and Great Britain’s hockey teams, was at Windermere School recently to put the pupils through their paces.
Ames was in the England team which finished fourth in the 2018 Men’s Hockey World Cup and, more recently, played in both play-off legs as Great Britain qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Head of PE at Windermere School, Dan Reid, was thrilled that Ames could find the time; “We’re absolutely delighted that David could come up to Windermere School to work with the students. We had originally pencilled in a day in September, but due to Great Britain’s Olympic Qualifiers’ commitments, we were unable to find a suitable date. However, despite his exceptionally busy year in which he has played in every international fixture, he’s taken time out from his hectic schedule and delivered a coaching masterclass to our students.”
During the coaching session on the school’s all-weather pitch – a new addition to the school since Ames’ last visit – Ames worked with the students to develop their skills in a variety of areas, primarily focused on hitting and goal scoring. Many of the students commented on how much they had enjoyed the coaching session and how they felt their confidence had grown as a result.
Adds Mr Reid: “David has always said what a pleasure it is to come up here and how attentive and hard-working our students are, and this visit was no different. He also commented on the new playing surface – an England Hockey Category 2 pitch. We are incredibly lucky to have David visit us so regularly – this was his fifth visit to the school – particularly as he has such a busy schedule. This is a great opportunity for the students to take some guidance from such an experienced athlete. Those who attended thoroughly enjoyed the session and left feeling more confident and certainly inspired.”
Mr Reid’s sentiments were echoed by first team player, Archie Dalzell, who said; “That was hard work, but hugely enjoyable. We got a brilliant insight into the types of training professional players do each day. I’m hoping that some of the new skills I’ve learned will come in handy in future fixtures.”
Since the training session, David Ames has been in touch with the school, emailing Mr Reid after he had returned home; “Always great to come up to Windermere School. The students were a pleasure to work with, as always! And what a difference the new playing surface makes – for students to be able to learn on such as excellent surface is wonderful.”
Mr Reid is hoping that Ames will be able to return next year; “I definitely see a difference in the students’ performances and attitude following a visit from David.”
The first time my daughter and I visited the school she said to me “that is a happy school no question.” The scholastic achievements of the school are evident and an easy measure for a school to demonstrate. What is hard to quantify is the holistic development of a pupil at which, in my experience, Windermere School excels.
Windermere School is such a unique community to be a part of. Not only is it based in a truly beautiful and inspiring national park, but the environment created by staff and students alike makes for an incredibly supportive, proactive, exciting and international place of learning in which everyone can thrive and be the best they can be.