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Old Loughts ask Baldwin to lead women’s first team as new head coach for 2020-21

PUBLISHED: 10:00 28 June 2020

Miranda Baldwin is the new coach of the Old Loughts women's 1st XI

Miranda Baldwin is the new coach of the Old Loughts women's 1st XI

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Old Loughts Hockey Club has announced Miranda Baldwin as the new head coach of their women’s first team ahead of the 2020-21 season.

Having gained promotion back to the East League Premier Division last season, as assistant coach to Juan Pablo Rodriguez, Baldwin has called time on a 16-year playing career to take up her new role.

Baldwin joined form Loughborough University in 2004, having studied Sport & Exercise Science and played National League hockey, and has seen Loughts play at the same level during her time at Luxborough Lane.

And, having dropped down to East League Division One, Baldwin saw fortunes turn around last term, saying: “There is a real sense of unity, commitment and passion amongst the squad which I am so looking forward to building on as the new coach.

“It is clear that putting the club shirt on means something to the players, many of whom are home-grown.”

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Loughts believe the appointment heralds a new era for the women’s section, especially the 1st XI, with Baldwin – who teaches PE at Chigwell School, where she is head of girls’ hockey – seen as a fierce competitor who wears her heart on her sleeve.

Club chairman Phillip Wheater added: “I am delighted that Miranda has been appointed Ladies first team coach, clearly supported by the players and having a long association with the club this is a very important appointment and will enable us to build on the success of last season.”

The club is particularly delighted to be able to promote one of its own through the ranks from player to coach and even more delighted to be able to support the development of a female coach, given the current imbalance between the number of male and female coaches in sport.

It is reported that the gender imbalance in hockey coaches, especially in the elite game, sees only 10 per cent of posts filled by females.

While Loughts are unsure when the competitive league season will start, Baldwin and manager Paul Homles have been making plans to ensure they are ready to pick up where they left off last season when the action restarts.

Any players interested in joining Old Loughts, especially the women’s section, can contact club captain Sam Gayler on email at samgayler@outlook.com.


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