For the second year running Karen Brown has been awarded the Female Coach of the Year and, as she moves out of a coaching role with the national team into a mentoring and consulting role, she pays tribute to the team effort by the Great Britain coaching staff.
“The thing that made us successful was our attention to detail,” says the unassuming Brown, a veteran of six Olympic cycles as player and coach. ”A lot of people say we were lucky [to win Olympic gold], but I think we played well without the ball. We had been building towards this for the last eight years. We used everything we had learnt during past experiences to decide what worked and what didn't work. That sounds simple but it is actually very difficult."
During her playing career, Brown was England and Great Britain’s second-highest capped player of all time, with 355 caps to her name, as well as Olympic Bronze, European Gold and Commonwealth Silver medals. Add to that Olympic Gold and Bronze, European Gold, Commonwealth Silver and World Cup Bronze as a coach, and her achievements on and off the pitch are substantial.
Karen had a strategic role in establishing and evolving the conceptual and cultural foundations for the set up of an elite athlete Centralised Programme for the Great Britain athletes, coaches and support staff in 2009, a programme that has gone onto win back to back medals at the last two Olympiads.
"Reflecting back now, I am really proud of what we achieved, and how we worked as a staff. We all had each others back and everyone played their role. This award represents that teamwork.”