Hockey Wales President Anne Ellis OBE Retires

Anne Ellis

After 20 years in post, Anne Ellis OBE is stepping down as the President of Hockey Wales. Anne is known and respected world-wide not only for her sporting career as the captain and coach of both Great Britain and Wales, but also for her supreme dedication to the wider world of sport in the years to follow.

The news of her retirement as President was officially announced at the Hockey Wales AGM yesterday evening, when her achievements and contribution to the world of hockey were recognised. Anne gave thanks to those she has worked with during her time in post:

“It has been a privilege and an honour to be your President and to be connected with so many wonderful people, all passionate about the sport I love. It has been a huge part of my life and will never stop being my passion. Thank you for your friendship and support over the years”

Anne gained her first cap in 1963 and went on to play 138 consecutive times for Wales and 14 for Great Britain, including no less than five World Conference/Cups. Under Anne’s leadership, in 1975, Wales played England in the first IFWHA/FIH World Cup in Edinburgh.

Her finest hour as captain would have been leading GB in the first ever women’s Olympic Hockey Championship in Moscow, an honour that was denied her by the boycott of the Games. Following her retirement from playing in 1980, Anne went on to coach both GB and Wales, including coaching Wales against England at Wembley in the first match to be played in front of the Queen.

Her fellow Wales and Great Britain teammate Sheila Morrow, who is one of Hockey Wales’ Elected Directors of the Board, spoke on behalf of the organisation in a presentation to Anne:

“Anne’s great contribution to hockey and the enormous influence she has on hockey players throughout Wales is unparalleled. I am yet to find anyone who has a bad word to say about Anne, which goes to show the high regard in which she is held, even those who don’t necessarily agree with her views - this is down to Anne’s honesty and integrity in everything she does.

“Her advice has always been sound and constructive through her knowledge and love of the game. We can’t thank Anne enough for her work in hockey and we will all miss her as president.”

Among her other honours, Anne has been the President of the WWHA (Welsh Women’s Hockey Association), a Member of the FIH Executive Board and Chair of the Coaching and Development Committee, as well as Chair of the EHF Coaching Committee.

Her many accolades includes the Sports Council for Wales Medal of Honour and British Coach of the Year, along with being inducted into the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame. On top of this she was also the first female recipient of the Sydney Frisking memorial goblet awarded by the Hockey Writers Association.

On hearing the news, members of the hockey family have taken to Twitter to give thanks to Anne, who will now focus on her other roles, which includes President of the Commonwealth Games Council for Wales. However, as ever dedicated to hockey, you will also find her helping at the Swansea City Hockey Club café on the weekends.