Great Britain and England Hockey have the world's best male hockey coach, best female coach and best female goalkeeper- that is the verdict of hockey players, coaches and fans around the globe, with Danny Kerry, Karen Brown and Maddie Hinch voted as respective winners at the International Hockey Federation's prestigious Hockey Stars awards ceremony in India.
The trio of FIH awards is further recognition of Great Britain's historic Olympic success in Rio last summer, and all three received these gongs as the result of a fantastic team effort in Brazil. With a raft of team awards, continued domestic growth, sellout events and a home Hockey World Cup in London in 2018, these are hugely exciting times for the sport.
Danny Kerry was again named the world's best male hockey coach, having led GB's women's team to a first ever Olympic gold medal. His side won all eight games and displayed the very best values of team sport - unity, mental strength and quality when it mattered most. Having also led England to UniBet EuroHockey gold in 2015 and Olympic bronze in London in 2012, Kerry has cemented his place in hockey history and has already set about the task of 'winning after winning' as he looks ahead to the next cycle of major tournaments.
As one of his assistant coaches, Karen Brown played a pivotal role in the team's success and has today been named the world's best female hockey coach. The award supplements a glittering career as a player and coach, adding to Olympic bronze, European gold and Commonwealth silver medals from her playing days, plus Olympic gold & bronze, European gold, Commonwealth silver and World Cup bronze as a coach. Her achievements on and off the pitch are therefore unsurpassed in the sport in this country.
Last but certainly by no means last, Maddie Hinch has been named the world's best female goalkeeper. She proved truly unbeatable in the Olympic final shoot-out against Holland, repelling all of the Netherlands' attempts, having already kept out a penalty stroke in normal time. Her impact on that game and on the country's gold medal cannot be underestimated, and she has rightly been crowned the best in the world. She flew to India to receive the award and received fantastic applause from the hockey family.
England & Great Britain Hockey would like to congratulate all three of our winners, and also every player and member of staff who contributed to the squad's success over the Olympic cycle, it was truly a team effort.
Chief Executive Sally Munday said, "It is fantastic to see our coaches and players recognised with awards. Maddie's heroics at the Olympic Games will be remembered by millions who watched our women win gold. She is the goalkeeper no player wants to face when taking a penalty and I am thrilled to see her receive this award.
"Karen's contribution to the team's success over the last ten years has been invaluable. She has now stepped away from coaching our senior women and this is a well deserved tribute to her as she moves into our coach development team.
"It is totally justified that Danny should be awarded coach of the year. His meticulous planning, attention to detail and insight into what would create a gold medal winning team is phenomenal. This, coupled with his outstanding technical and tactical knowledge of the game gave our players the best possible chance of becoming Olympic champions and I am so delighted for him that he has been recognised in this way."
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