Jean Arnold is something of an icon in Liverpool. The 79-year-old has been a revered PE teacher in the region for decades and her tireless work has seen her nominated for unsung hero and lifetime achievement awards in recent years. Yet it is her vision for City of Liverpool Juniors HC which could herald her greatest achievement with the barriers she currently faces.
Hockey in Liverpool, she says, is not on equal footing with Greater Manchester or Cheshire and Jean stresses that this is because of a dearth of independent schools in the area and of on-site facilities.
And so it was that CoL Juniors – an extension of the oldest club in the city, Liverpool Ladies, where she was captain for nearly a decade – was set up three years ago by Jean after she came into difficulties at a previous club, which said she couldn’t run a team or coach on Saturdays.
She couldn’t be fussed with the politics and Jean soon set up a Friday coaching programme for juniors. The small club has since made its way rapidly into the Lancashire leagues. They may be junior players, but they are playing adults on a weekly basis. And thriving.
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