Ex-Hockeyroos star to guide next generation of athletes

The South West’s next generation of hockey stars will benefit from the guidance of one of the greats of the game, with former Hockeyroos captain and assistant coach Nicole Arrold taking on a role coaching promising juniors in the region.

The two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist has been announced as the new head coach of the South West Academy of Sport’s hockey program, which provides high-level support to develop tomorrow’s champions.

Heralded as one of Australia’s finest field hockey players, the ACT Sport Hall of Fame recipient competed at both the Athens and Beijing Olympic Games, as well as the Melbourne and Delhi Commonwealth Games.

The decorated athlete also played at three world cups and six Champions Trophy tournaments, amassing 215 international matches during an inspirational 10-year playing career.

She has also been involved in the FIH Hockey Academy, and is an associate lecturer with Murdoch University.

Now based in the Busselton area, Arrold is looking forward to using the unique knowledge and experience she gained as a player and a coach on the world stage to mentor up-and-coming South West athletes aspiring to their own careers in sport.

“There’s a really long and rich successful history of hockey players – both male and female – who have come from the South West region,” Arrold said.

“I look forward to continuing to support athletes who have goals to play at high levels.

“I’m also looking forward to working with young people in an area outside a metropolitan city.

“An initiative like SWAS is fantastic because it provides an opportunity for young athletes in regional areas to access high quality training environments, without having to travel to Perth.”

SWAS chief executive officer Bernice Butlion said she was thrilled that Arrold has joined the team at the academy, saying she brings a wealth of experience to the role.

“Her coaching experience is extensive and we are honoured to have Nicole leading our next generation of hockey players to future success in their hockey careers,” Butlion said.

“Her background in education will also help with guiding the athletes into well-rounded individuals.

“We can’t wait to roll-out the SWAS hockey program for 2019/2020 with Nicole at the helm.”

Since 2008, SWAS has been providing local talent development opportunities for young sports men and women, levelling the playing field for emerging South West athletes in the South West region who would have previously had to travel to Perth to access support.

SWAS runs partner sports programs in hockey, netball and Australian Rules football, as well as an individual athlete support program for athletes whose sport is not covered by the partner sport programs.

Athletes receive access to top quality coaching, training and support services in the region.