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NEWS > Alumnae News > Nicky Budd, 1974-2023

Nicky Budd, 1974-2023

We know that many alumnae will be just as sad as we are to learn that our former Director of Sport, Nicky Budd, passed away last month at the Royal Hospital for Neurodisability in Putney.
Nicky Budd with Vicky Sayer and Clare Jansen, Class of 2016
Nicky Budd with Vicky Sayer and Clare Jansen, Class of 2016

Mrs Budd, who was a former England U19 and GB Lacrosse Head Coach, taught at LEH from 2004-2019. She suffered a serious stroke back in April 2021, and had been cared for in hospital since then. Under her guidance LEH won many school tournaments and competitions including the Lacrosse Nationals Championship in 2018.

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Head Mistress, Heather Hanbury, said: “The news somehow feels unexpected, despite Nicky’s illness.  For someone who led such a physically active life, and who was so young, the stroke was a particularly cruel blow. Nicky had a huge impact on many girls during her successful sports career, both in and beyond school, and we have many fond memories of her. We will find a way to mark her life at LEH.  Meanwhile, our thoughts and condolences are with Nicky’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

Her husband George said Nicky inspired so many people and achieved so much during her life which was cut short by her stroke. He said: “She always believed people could achieve the highest goals and that things could be fairer, kinder and better - and people tended to live up to those expectations when she was around!  She always found a way through the hard times and how she approached her illness was no different.  We made so many wonderful memories together and I miss her hugely, as I’m sure many others do, too.” 

Alumnae Vicky Sayer and Clare Jansen, Class of 2016, who were Lacrosse Captains in 2016, also paid tribute to a much-loved teacher. They said: “Nicky Budd (who will always be Mrs Budd to us!) was an incredibly dedicated and passionate lacrosse coach, and someone who left a lasting impression on us both. Over our seven years at LEH, she taught us about determination and competitiveness, but also the importance of being part of a team and working together.

“In our three years in the first team, we lost the National School's final twice. It seems fairly trivial now, but at the time, as 16–18-year-olds, losing in the final 15 minutes was devastating. Despite her disappointment for us, and ours for her, she would clap the loudest for the winning team and pick us back up to train hard again the following year. She was resilient and she made us resilient as people, and that is a characteristic we are both thankful to have in our lives today.

“Playing in lacrosse teams under her coaching at LEH shaped us both as people, as it did everyone else on those teams, and we are thankful for her guidance, passion and drive to bring out the best in us and our teams year after year. Our condolences go out to Mrs Budd's family.”

Former LEH Head of PE and Head of Middle School, Mags Waters, said: “What a tragic loss - how do you sum up 12 years of devoted service to LEH? Nicky’s complete passion for lacrosse was evident throughout her time at LEH. She dedicated a great deal of time and effort to the lacrosse world, from grass roots right through to her leadership of the U19 England and Senior GB Lacrosse Squads.  

“One of her greatest contributions to LEH was the Summer Lacrosse Camp which did so much more for the pupils than just teach them how to play Lacrosse. It gave the incoming Thirds the opportunity to meet each other, often for the first time, to begin to form new friendships, to develop teamwork, to become familiar with the school, the ethos, the older pupils, and undoubtedly eased that sometimes tricky transition from Junior School to Senior School. 

“My fondest memories will always be the joy with which Nicky approached dressing up for the annual end of season Lacrosse Rallies!

“Nicky demonstrated determination in everything she approached and pursued every activity to the fullest of her capabilities. I have immense admiration for the way she coped following her stroke and her determination to be able to communicate with the outside world.  

“Nicky was an inspiration to others, and I am sure many LEH Alumnae will remember her with both affection and gratitude.”

And friend and former LEH nurse, Sister Sharon Brew, said: “That smile! Nicky had the most amazing smile and a great sense of humour.  She was a tough cookie and she had high standards, but only because she gave her all and expected others to as well.

“Underneath that tough PE teacher outer she was a kind, generous, thoughtful, and sensitive soul. She was vibrant and so full of energy (maybe not by the end of the summer term at LEH), but her zest for life was infectious.

“I am proud to have known Nicky and lucky enough to have been called a friend. I think grieving Nicky the way we knew her happened when she became ill, I am grateful she is at peace now. As with everyone who passes away before their time, we learn important lessons; to live life to the full. I know Nicky would certainly agree.”

Her funeral is currently being arranged by her husband George, who has requested that instead of sending flowers, donations can be made in her name to the hospital who cared for her so well: https://www.rhn.org.uk/support-us/donate/.

 

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