By Ella Jerman
The 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games saw a number of athletes making their mark on the world stage. Whilst it is important to celebrate these athletes’ accomplishments, however, we often forget to recognise the achievements of those involved behind the scenes.
Team Durham’s Performance Hockey Coach, Gareth Weaver-Tyler, added to his own set of personal achievements when he walked out as Assistant Head Coach of the Welsh Women’s National Squad as the team got their Commonwealth Games campaign underway on the Gold Coast.
The Welsh women’s hockey team became one of the major talking points of the Games from day one. They caused a major upset when they beat India – who are currently ranked 10th in the FIH Women’s Hero World Ranking – for the first time ever in their opening match.
Weaver-Tyler has been with Durham for four years. In that time, he has transitioned from coaching the England U21s to playing a pivotal role in the senior Welsh programme.
The Welsh Women’s National Squad recorded impressive results in the World League and Euro Hockey Championships, culminating in automatic qualification for the Commonwealth Games as the 26th ranked team in the world and, more importantly, as a top 10 team in the Commonwealth.
Defeat to South Africa ended Welsh hopes of taking a semi-final spot, but Director of Experience Durham Quentin Sloper was full of praise for Weaver-Tyler.
“We are fortunate to have an outstanding group of coaches across many of our sports and Gareth very much falls into that bracket,” he said.
“Coaching at an international level is the objective for so many but very few actually make it. It would be hard to find somebody more deserving than Gareth – he works tirelessly and remains a student of the game.
“I know that he will be an even better coach for this experience.”
Photograph: Universalis via Wikimedia Commons