Woodbridge: Sports star takes school coaching role

A SUFFOLK school has welcomed a second international sportswoman to coach its students - taking the combined number of caps won by staff to 269.

Mariette Rix has joined Woodbridge School as a hockey coach, straight from representing South Africa at the London Olympics.

The 30-year-old goalkeeper, who has a total of 157 caps for her country and also plays for Ipswich Hockey Club, will be teaching students who are new to the sport, as well as the school’s more experienced players. She said: “I’m really excited to have started coaching at Woodbridge School.

“London was a very good highlight to finish on - a high note from which I can walk away happy.

“The whole event was very inspiring and it has really changed the nation’s attitude toward sport. But now I’ve retired I want to give a little back and coaching is something I’d always enjoyed as part of my club duties.

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“I’ve got so much from the sport that I hope to pass some of that on to younger players.”

The hockey star joins Louise Rickard, whose principal role at the school is as head of biology, but also holds the title of second most capped player in women’s rugby, with a total of 112 caps since her debut in 1993.

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She represented her home country of Wales 112 times over 17 years, prior to her retirement from international rugby two years ago, and is the most capped player in Welsh women’s rugby history.

Naomi Sanders, head of girls sport at Woodbridge School, said: “Staff and students are all very excited to welcome Mariette straight from the London Olympics.

“The enthusiasm felt across the country during the Games was palpable and having Mariette here is very inspiring.

“It’s a great coup to have two such accomplished sportswomen teaching at the school.”

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