Brown named FIH Female Coach of the Year.

Karen Brown

England and Great Britain Assistant Coach Karen Brown has been named as the FIH’s Female Coach of the Year. Brown’s award was announced alongside Ireland’s Craig Fulton, who won the men’s award and Nathan Stagno and Michelle Joubert who won the Umpire of the Year categories.

Brown is Great Britain’s most capped female international player, amassing 355 caps in a storied and successful international career. She competed in three Olympic Games collecting a bronze medal in 1992 to add to a European Gold (1991) a Commonwealth Games silver and of course numerous medals in her club career with Slough.

She began her coaching journey at Chelmsford back in 2000 leading them to a European Cup Winners Cup silver medal and the national indoor title. She has worked with the England U16, U18 and U21 and B programmes. She was Head Coach of the England U21 women’s team at the Junior World Cup in Chile in 2005 and joined England Hockey that same year as Junior Performance Manager, moving to Assistant Coach working alongside Danny Kerry in 2006.

Since then, she has been part of the coaching team that has led England to medals at the World Cup, Champions Trophy, Commonwealth Games and European Championships, including this summer’s gold medal to add to the gold she won as a player in the same competition. With Great Britain, she coached the side that finished sixth at the Beijing Olympic Games and of course the bronze medal won at London 2012.

In recent years, Brown has participated in the prestigious UK Sport Elite Coach Programme and in 2011 completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Elite Coaching from the University of Central Lancashire, as well as gaining her Level 4 Coach Award qualification.

Speaking about her award she told England Hockey:

“I’m really taken aback and surprised to be given this award. I enjoy being in the background and see my role as being the glue that keeps everything together and makes other people look good. I’m usually under the radar so I’m flattered to be recognised by my peers.”

Speaking about the Awards, FIH President, Leandro Negre, said: “Congratulations to Craig and Karen who have made a huge impact on the sport in 2016, both helping guide their teams to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games amongst some other key medal wins. Well done to our golden generation of umpires as well, which now includes Michelle and Nathan who have been rightfully recognised for their excellent performances on the field whilst officiating at our events last year.”

He continued: “The ambition of the Hockey Revolution, our ten-year strategy for hockey, is to make it a global game that inspires the next generation. One of our ‘big goals’ is to increase the degree of professionalism throughout the sport. Coaching and officiating is crucial to achieving our aims. These awards showcase excellence in both areas and as a result I hope many others are inspired by these individuals’ outstanding achievements.”

This follows the news announced yesterday confirming the winners of the Player, Goalkeeper and Rising Star of the Year awards, with England and Great Britain’s Lily Owsley picking up the Women’s Rising Star Award.

Athletes, Coaches and Umpires will be presented with their awards in their respective home countries over the coming weeks.