Janneke Schopman, a former Olympic gold medallist, has been appointed as the analytical coach of the Indian women’s hockey team ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. She will join the team as early as Saturday, overseeing their ongoing national camp at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Bengaluru. She will travel with the Indian team to New Zealand as well, where India will take on the hosts and Great Britain.
Schopman was part of the national team that won a gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympics and a silver at the 2004 Games that was held in Athens.
“I am really excited to work with the Indian women’s hockey team. I have followed their game for quite a while and I believe they are a very talented and determined group of players. I look forward to contributing to their zest to achieve desired results for India,” Janneke, who has been appointed till the Tokyo Games, told PTI.
Sjoerd Marijne, India’s head coach, welcomed the move. “We know each other for a long time and have the same thoughts about hockey and her experience as an Olympic gold medallist and World Cup winner will give the team a good boost in our preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” he said.
Schopman’s rich experience as a coach to work in her favour
The 42-year old will begin her coaching stint with the Indian Eves after successful stints with various international teams and clubs in the past. The former captain of the Netherlands women’s hockey team, Schopman was part of the team that won the World Cup in 2006, along with winning two silver medals in 2002 and 2010.
After she hung up her boots as a player, she turned to coaching and came on board the USA women’s national hockey team from 2016 to 2019. She was also associated with the USA Under-21 women’s side, besides working as the assistant coach of the USA senior women’s team, before she was promoted to the position of a head coach. Under her, the USA won the Hockey World League Round 3 in South Africa. They also won a bronze medal in the Champions Trophy in 2016, besides finishing third in the Pan-American Cup in 2017 and then again in 2019.
Schopman also forayed into club coaching when she oversaw the progress of Ben Bosch Under-19, a local club in Netherlands.