SJA member John Inverdale has been selected to front the BBC’s athletics coverage through to the London Olympics – a tough task which might confront him with split loyalties, as he may want to see more of the women’s hockey tournament, with his daughter Josie a likely contender for senior international honours by 2012.
According to Charlie Sale in today’s Daily Mail, Inverdale got the nod for the Olympic athletics job following a BBC presenter play-off at this summerâ€™s athletics world championships in Berlin with Hazel Irvine and Jonathan Edwards.
Inverdale – a regular presenter at the SJA’s major awards events – has extensive experience fronting major BBC sporting events, from Six Nations rugby through to working alongside Sir Steve Redgrave at rowing at last year’s Beijing Games. He also appears as a guest on C4’s Countdown and last week worked as a reporter on the BBC’s consumer affairs programme Watchdog.
A leading figure at Esher rugby club, Inverdale has been spending several Saturday afternoons this autumn watching Reading hockey club’s women’s team in premier league action.
After playing her junior hockey at Teddington, Josie Inverdale, at 17, is in her first season of senior hockey with Reading. Last year, Josie Inverdale captained England to silver medals at the European under-16 championships and last summer she played for England under-18s as they finished third at the European championships.
Josie Inverdale is also a top-class tennis player, reacing the last 16 of the national under-18 championships.
According to one of her schoolmates at Reeds in Cobham, Surrey, “Josie has developed into a wonderful young lady who is mature beyond her years and has a physical presence of someone considerably older than she is.
“She has the athletic ability, desire, passion and hockey playing potential to become a senior international in the future. Josie is a vital player in the squad.”
Additional reporting by Patrick Rowley