Given Alex Danson’s status as a world class hockey player, it was an obvious decision to name the pitch after her. She was still at school in 2001 when she made her international debut in the GB women’s hockey squad and was runner up for the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year.
Since leaving the Sixth Form in 2003 the school have followed her career with great interest and pride including such highlights as being named in the 2011 FIH’s World All Stars Team; winning a bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics and most recently winning a gold medal and player of the tournament at the 2015 EuroHockey Nations Championships. They are also very proud of Alex’s important role as a mentor for the Youth Sports Trust.
There was a real air of excitement and anticipation as the whole school, together with governors and parents, assembled on the new hockey pitch. The ceremony began with a blessing conducted by Rev Fr. Tony Sultana, the school’s parish priest, after which Alex officially opened the pitch by cutting the ribbons. She is an inspirational speaker and her words today were again motivating and impressive. She then took to the pitch to take part in an exhibition penalty shoot-out by Alex followed by a staff versus students match in which Alex played with the girls and they won 2 – 1.
Alex, who was joined by her parents, was delighted to have the pitch named after her. She said ‘It’s been absolutely incredible to come back here today and I’ve had a wonderful time. This pitch was part of my dream when I was here – the girls can now create their dream on an astro like this. Without my start here at Farnborough Hill I wouldn’t have been so successful.”