On a mild November day by the wonderful Brighton Seaside, The Mintridge Foundation had the pleasure of visiting Roedean school with GB hockey gold and bronze medallist Crista Cullen, to share her amazing story and experience a day of masterclasses from a champion.
Roedean school had welcomed three other schools to join them for this special day, including Copthorne Preparatory School, Great Walstead School and Penthorpe School, along with several individuals who had been invited from some of the neighbouring schools for the day. The fantastic Roedean staff and sports leaders did an excellent job of organising the coaching sessions and helping to coordinate the afternoons tournament.
The pupils from all the schools were welcomed by Crista in the morning before heading straight out to the new AstroTurf to start the first coaching session. Crista passed on a wide array of hockey knowledge, including some attacking top tips to try and avoid and beat the defender. The girls also got the opportunity to show off their shooting skills to Crista, if they could beat the very talented hockey goalkeepers.
After lunch, the pupils listened to an inspirational presentation by Crista, who explained the importance of resilience and the power of a team. It was at this stage she mentioned how her hockey career had started in the Under 12 ‘C’ team, which was an eye opener to some of the aspiring hockey players in the room. At this point in the day the pupils had the chance to ask Crista any questions. Some of the best questions included:
Did you always get picked for every match?
When you got picked ahead of your team mates, did the subs get mad at you?
How old were you when you realised you were good at hockey?
Who is the best player in your team?
When you retired from hockey did the team welcome you back?
The pupils and staff in the room all had the chance to see and hold the gold medal won by Crista at the Rio Olympics, which was a lot heavier than they expected.
The Mintridge Foundation brought along their golden post box for the students to post their aspirations and any other questions in for Crista. It was a really great way for the girls to think about their dreams and how they are going to achieve them.
Towards the end of the day Crista got to see all the girls in action when they played in the eagerly anticipated tournament with their schools. It was amazing to see so many girls trying the new skills they had learnt with Crista throughout the morning.
At the end of the day, Crista presented numerous awards to the players who had stood out to her for trying hard, being persistent, persevering under pressure and for their team attitude and ethos. Overall it was a great way to celebrate the day. The schools and pupils all had the chance to have photographs with Crista as well as get their sticks, bags and cards signed by the hockey great.
Thank you again to the staff and everyone at Roedean for inviting The Mintridge Foundation and Crista to be a part of your day.
You can see the video from the day at our YouTube channel via this link: https://youtu.be/eNjysAHZRXY
Roedean School have all the photos from the day if you would like to see them.
We look forward to working with you again soon Roedean School.