SMITH STANDS DOWN FROM GB WOMEN HEAD COACH ROLE

Cheryl Smith has stood down as head coach of the Great Britain Women’s programme.

Smith, who represented GB as a player from 1995 to 2001, initially took up the role of assistant coach in 2014.

She took interim charge as head coach the following year before officially being appointed to the role in May 2015.

Under her leadership, GB Women won four silver medals and two bronze – and she oversaw GB in an Olympic Qualifying campaign in Kazakhstan.

Smith was also responsible for the development of players from under-16s to the senior programme, with dozens of girls progressing to make their full GB debuts in the past seven years.

David Hand, Chair of the GB Programme Board, said: “I would like to place on record our thanks to Cheryl for her dedication in her time in the GB set-up.

“The programme has come a long way in the past seven years and there have been many high points. We’d like to wish Cheryl all the best for the future.”

Smith said: “It has been an honour to serve Great Britain and IHUK for the past seven years as assistant coach initially and for the past six as head coach.

“Unfortunately, because of the pressures of work and the ever-changing situation with covid, I feel I will not be able to give 100% when we restart.

“I would like to place on record my thanks to all the board, but in particular Andy French for his help and support from day one.”