Volunteer coach Lochlann Kaye has been recognised for his great efforts in helping our first ever hockey team win gold at a Special Olympics World Games by being honoured at the prestigious England Hockey Awards.
Aged just 20, Lochlann was presented with the Rising Star Award at a glittering awards ceremony, which celebrated achievements at all levels of hockey.
In addition to his work at Berlin 2023, alongside fellow coaches Steve Bradley and Jayne Crosse, he also coached the national team that competed at the 2022 Eurohockey ID Championships in Amsterdam.
“To win the award was amazing,” said Lochlann. “Not only is it great to feel recognised for the work that I’ve done alongside Steve, Jayne and Norman Hughes (former Team GB Olympian), but also that Hockey ID is getting so much recognition from England Hockey to support its development.”
The award caps a remarkable journey for Lochlann who first got involved in hockey as a nine-year-old and started coaching as a 15 year-old with Wakefield Flyerz, part of Wakefield Hockey Club, which is an inclusive hockey team and part of a wider grassroots disability programme.
Fellow coach Jayne Crosse is also part of the coaching team at Wakefield Hockey Club, whilst Wakefield Flyerz players Rob Crosse, Brooke Lammas and Thomas Shaw were part of the Team Special Olympics GB squad that won gold.
“Winning gold at Berlin 2023, was a mixture of emotions. Happiness and pride mainly as the players had worked so hard to achieve what they had, but I was also a bit sad that the competition was over as it had been an amazing experience for us all.
“I started in the game by going along to watch my sister Isla play at the Wakefield Hockey Club. After a few years one of the coaches had suggested that I start playing, and so I did.
“Five years or so later, my older sister Nina had been coaching at Flyerz and, as result, there was an opportunity to get involved in running a summer festival. After that I got really into it and wanted to help coach.
“I currently play in the men’s fourth team at Wakefield as a forward, but my main focus is coaching.
“I am Head Coach of Wakefield Flyerz and will soon begin my role as the men’s sixth and seventh team coach, having also coached the women’s fifth team for the past two years.”
Having been part of the Special Olympics GB movement for the first time, Lochlann now wants to build on its success of Berlin 2023 and get more athletes involved in the Flyerz programme across the country.
“I’ve seen such great development in my players at Wakefield since they got involved in Flyerz,” he said. “Particularly those who were part of the team in Berlin, who have so much more confidence as a result of being in that team environment and playing alongside new teammates.
“More and more clubs are signing up and I want us to develop closer links with Special Olympics GB and hopefully create more competitive opportunities for athletes to get involved in hockey.”
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